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east to west, as is still visible to beholders. | safe from the wintry storm; but after a short This being finished, they gave that dispirited space of fair weather, he immediately vanishes people good advice, with patterns to furnish out of your sight, into the dark winter from them with arms. Besides, they built towers on which he had emerged. So this life of man the sea-coast to the southward, at proper dis- appears for a short space, but of what went tances, where their ships were, because there before, or what is to follow, we are utterly also the irruptions of the barbarians were ap- ignorant. If, therefore, this new doctrine conprehended, and so took leave of their friends, tains something more certain, it seems justly never to return again.-Book I, Chapter 12. to deserve to be followed." The other elders (Translation from the Latin, edited by J. A. and king's counsellors by Divine inspiration, (iles.) spoke to the same effect.-Book II, Chapter 13. (Translation from the Latin, edited by J. A. Giles.)



The king, hearing these words, answered, that he was both willing and bound to receive the faith which he taught; but that he would confer about it with his principal friends and counsellors, to the end that if they also were of his opinion, they might all together be cleansed in Christ the Fountain of life. Paulinus consenting, the king did as he said; for, holding a council with the wise men, he asked of everyone in particular what he thought of the new doctrine, and the new worship that was preached? To which the chief of his own priests, Coifi, immediately answered, "O king, consider what this is which is now preached to us; for I verily declare to you, that the religion which we have hitherto professed has, as far as I can learn, no virtue in it. For none of your people has applied himself more diligently to the worship of our gods than I; and yet there are many who receive greater favours from you, and are more preferred than I, and are more prosperous in all their undertakings. Now if the gods were good for anything, they would rather forward me, who have been more careful to serve them. It remains, therefore, that if upon examination you find those new doctrines, which are now preached to us, better and more efficacious, we immediately receive them without any delay."

In this Abbess's Minster was a certain brother extraordinarily magnified and honoured with a divine gift; for he was wont to make fitting songs which conduced to religion and piety; so that whatever he learned through clerks of the holy writings, that he, after a little space, would usually adorn with the greatest sweetness and feeling, and bring forth in the English tongue; and by his songs the minds of many men were often inflamed with contempt for the world, and with desire of heavenly life. And moreover, many others after him, in the English nation, sought to make pious songs; but yet none could do like him, for he had not been taught from men, nor through man, to learn the poetic art; but he was divinely aided, and through God's grace received the art of song. And he therefore never might make aught of leasing or of idle poems, but just those only which conduced to religion, and which it became his pious tongue to sing. The man was. placed in worldly life until the time that he was of mature age, and had never learned any poem; and he therefore often in convivial society, when, for the sake of mirth, it was resolved that they all in turn should sing to the harp, when he saw the harp approaching him, then for shame he would rise from the assem bly and go home to his house.

Another of the king's chief men, approving of his words and exhortations, presently added: "The present life of man, O king, seems to me, in comparison of that time which is unknown to us, like to the swift flight of a sparrow through the room wherein you sit at supper in winter, with your commanders and min-him-when he there, at proper time, placed his isters, and a good fire in the midst, whilst the limbs on the bed and slept, then stood some storms of rain and snow prevail abroad; the man by him, in a dream, and hailed and greeted sparrow I say, flying in at one door, and imme- him, and named him by his name, saying diately out at another, whilst he is within, is Cadmon, sing me something." Then he an

When he so on a certain time did, that he left the house of the convivial meeting, and was gone out to the stall of the cattle, the care of which that night had been committed to


This is an incident of the visit of Paulinus, who,
in the year 625, during the reign of King
Edwin (Eadwine) of Northumbria, came to
England as a missionary from Pope Gregory.

4 lying

See Eng. Lit., p. 22. The "Minster" referred to was the monastery at Whitby, founded by the Abbess Hilda in 658.

swered and said, "I cannot sing anything, and therefore I went out from this convivial meeting, and retired hither, because I could not."' Again he who was speaking with him said, "Yet thou must sing to me. "" Said he, "What shall I sing?" Said he, "Sing me the origin of things." When he receiyed this answer, then he began forthwith to sing, in praise of God the creator, the verses and the words which he had never heard, the order of which is this:

"Now must we praise

the Guardian of heaven's kingdom, the Creator's might, and his mind's thought; glorious Father of men! as of every wonder he, Lord eternal,

formed the beginning.

He first framed

for the children of earth

the heaven as a roof;

holy Creator!

then mid-earth,

the Guardian of mankind, the eternal Lord, afterwards produced;

the earth for men, Lord Almighty!"

Then he arose from sleep, and had fast in mind all that he sleeping had sung, and to those words forthwith joined many words of song worthy of God in the same measure.

Then came he in the morning to the town reeve, who was his superior, and said to him what gift he had received; and he forthwith led him to the abbess, and told, and made that

known to her. Then she bade all the most

learned men and the learners to assemble, and in their presence bade him tell the dream, and sing the poem; that, by the judgment of them all, it might be determined why or whence that

was come. Then it seemed to them all, so as it was, that to him, from the Lord himself, a heavenly gift had been given. Then they expounded to him and said some holy history, and words of godly lore; then bade him, if he could, to sing some of them, and turn them into the melody of song, When he had undertaken the thing, then went he home to his house, and came again in the morning, and sang and gave to them, adorned with the best poetry,

what had been entrusted to him.

Then began the abbess to make much of and love the grace of God in the man; and she then exhorted and instructed him to forsake

worldly life and take to monkhood: and he that well approved. And she received him into the minster with his goods, and associated him with the congregation of those servants of God, and caused him to be taught the series of the Holy History and Gospel; and he, all that he could learn by hearing, meditated with himself, and, as a clean animal, ruminating, turned into the sweetest verse: and his song and his verse were so winsome to hear, that his teachers themselves wrote and learned from his mouth. He first sang of earth's creation, and of the origin of mankind, and all the history of Genesis, which is the first book of Moses, and then of the departure of the people of Israel from the Egyptians' land, and of the entrance of the land of promise, and of many other histories of the canonical books of Holy Writ; and of Christ's incarnation, and of his passion, and of his ascension into heaven; and of the coming of the Holy Ghost, and the doctrine of the Apostles. And also of the terror of the doom to come, and the fear of hell torment, and the sweetness of the heavenly kingdom, he made many poems; and, in like manner, many others of the divine benefits and judgments he made; in all which he earnestly took care to draw men from the love of sins and wicked deeds, and to excite to a love and desire of good deeds; for he was a very pious man, and to regular disciplines humbly subjected; and against those who in otherwise would act, he was inflamed with the heat of great zeal. And he therefore with a fair end his life closed and ended.

For when the time approached of his decease and departure, then was he for fourteen days firmity; yet so moderately that, during all that ere that oppressed and troubled with bodily intime, he could both speak and walk. There was in the neighbourhood a house for infirm men, in which it was their custom to bring the infirm,

and those who were on the point of departure, and there attend to them together. Then bade he his servant, on the eve of the night that he was going from the world, to prepare him a place in that house, that he might rest; whereupon the servant wondered why he this bade, for it seemed to him that his departure was not so near; yet he did as he said and commanded. And when he there went to bed, and in joyful mood was speaking some things, and previously, then it was over midnight that he joking together with those who were therein asked, whether they had the eucharist' within?

5 In the ceremonial sense (see Leriticus, xi). 6 Denances 7 host, or consecrated bread

They answered, "What need is to thee of the eucharist? Thy departure is not so near, now thou thus cheerfully and thus gladly art speaking to us." Again he said, “Bring me nevertheless the eucharist."'

CYNEWULF (A. 750)*


Who so wary and so wise of the warriors lives,
That he dare declare who doth drive me on my

When I start up in my strength! Oft in stormy
Hugely then I thunder, tear along in gusts,

8 provisions for a journey (in this case the eucharist)



When he had it in his hands, he asked, Whether they had all a placid mind and kind, and without any ill-will towards him? Then they all answered, and said, that they knew of no ill-will towards him, but they all were very kindly disposed and they besought him in turn that he would be kindly disposed to them all. Then he answered and said, "My beloved brethren, I am very kindly disposed to you and In the sand together! Say who shuts me in, all God's men. 99 And he thus was strengthen-Or what is my name-I who bear this burden! Answer: A Storm on Land. ing himself with the heavenly viaticum,8 and preparing himself an entrance into another life. Again he asked, "How near it was to the hour that the brethren must rise and teach the people of God, and sing their nocturns?'' They answered, "It is not far to that." said, "It is well, let us await the hour." then he prayed, and signed himself with Christ's cross, and reclined his head on the bolster, and slept for a little space; and so with So that, in the battle-brattling,1 help may bring stillness ended his life. And thus it was, that as he with pure and calm mind and tranquil devotion had served God, that he, in like manner, left the world with as calm a death, and went to His presence; and the tongue that had composed so many holy words in the Creator's praise, he then in like manner its last words closed in His praise, crossing himself, and committing his soul into His hands. Thus it is seen that he was conscious of his own departure, from what we have now heard say.-Book IV., Chapter 24. (Translated from Latin into Anglo-Saxon by Alfred the Great. Modern English translation by Benjamin Thorpe.)

I am all alone, with the iron wounded, With the sword slashed into, sick of work of battle, And Of the edges weary. Oft I see the slaughter, Of no comfort Oft the fiercest fighting. ween I,

itself to me;

9 service before daybreak

These extracts from Cynewulf's writings are translations by Mr. Stopford Brooke, and have been taken from Mr. Brooke's History of Early English Literature by permission of the publishers, Messrs. Macmillan & Co.

Fare above the floor of earth, burn the folkhalls down,


Ravage all the rooms! There the reek ariseth
Gray above the gables. Great on earth the din,
And the slaughter-qualm of men. Then I shake
the woodland,

Forests rich in fruits; then I fell the trees;-
I with water over-vaulted-by the wondrous


Sent upon my way, far and wide to drive along!
On my back I carry that which covered once
All the tribes of Earth's indwellers, spirits and
all flesh,

Ere I, with the warriors, have been utterly for


But the heritage of hammers hews adown at

me, Stark of edges, sworded-sharp, of the smiths the handiwork, On me biting in the burgs!

Worse the bat

tle is

I must bear for ever! Not one of the Leechkin,3


In the fold-stead, could I find out,
Who, with herbs he has, then should heal me of
my wound!
But the notching of my edges more and more
Through the deadly strokes of swords, in the
daylight, in the night.

Of the Shield.

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Me the march-paths over, or the ocean-stallion | Speak to those who once on earth but obeyed Fares the floods with me, flashing in my jewels-.

him weakly,


Often times a bower-maiden, all bedecked with 1 armlets,

While as yet their Yearning pain and their Need most easily Comfort might discover. Filleth up my bosom; whiles, bereft or covers, Gone is then the Winsomeness I must, hard and heedless, (in the houses) Of the Earth's adornments! What to Us as lie! men belonged



Then, again, hang I, with adornments fretted, Of the joys of life was locked, long ago, in
Winsome on the wall where the warriors drink.
Sometimes the folk-fighters, as a fair thing on

All the Fec on Earth.

On the back of horses bear me; then bedecked with jewels

Shall I puff with wind from a warrior's breast. 15 Then, again, to glee-feasts I the guests invite Haughty heroes to the wine-other whiles shall I

With my shouting save from foes what is stolen

away, Make the plundering scather flee. Ask what is my name! Of the Horn.

Then the Courage-hearted quakes, when the
King he hears
Speak the words of wrath-Him the wielder of


the Heavens

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The Christ is a poem dealing with the Nativity and Ascension of Christ, and the Day of Judgment. Our extracts are from the hymnlike passage which presages the Judgment and the poet's dread upon that day, and which He the Spirit-Son of God! And he dealt us closes with a vision of the stormy voyage of life ending in serenity. Cynewulf signed


some of his poems acrostically by inserting So that we should be aware, from the vessel's runes which spelt his name. Runes were characters which represented words as well


as letters, just as our letter "B" might stand | Where our stallions of the sea we might stay

for the words be or bec. Those used in this passage of which we give a portion are:

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O'er the rough sea-ridges. Then there reached us help,

That to hithe of Healing homeward led us



with ropes,

Fast a-riding by their anchors-ancient horses of the waves!.

Let us in that haven then all our hope estab


Which the ruler of the Ether there has roomed
for us,

When He climbed to Heaven-Holy in the

FROM THE ELENE.‡ Forth then fared the folk-troop, and a fightinglay


6 The Deluge 7 property 8 ships 9 harbor The Elene is the story of St. Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in search of the Holy Cross. The lines quoted describe the battle in which Constantine is victorious over the Huns. See Brooke's Early English Literature, pp. 405-406.

Sang the Wolf in woodland, wailed a slaughter- built. Altogether they ruled in Britain four rune!

hundred and seventy years since Caius Julius
first sought the land.

Dewy-feathered, on the foes' track,
Raised the Earn10 his song.

Loud upsang the Raven Swart, and slaughter-fell. Strode along the war-host;


Blew on high the horn-bearers; heralds of the battle shouted;

Stamped the earth the stallion; and the host assembled

Quickly to the quarrel!

Sang the trumpets Loud before the war-hosts; loved the work the


110 Dewy-plumed, the earn looked upon the march; . Song the wolf uplifted, Ranger of the holt! 11 Rose the Terror of the battle! There was rush of shields together, crush of men together, Hard hand-swinging there, and of hosts downdinging,


On the field of fight! Till in death the heathen,
Joyless fell!



Anno 409. This year the Goths took the city of Rome by storm, and after this the Romans never ruled in Britain; and this was about eleven hundred and ten years after it had been

10 eagle

11 wood

12 soldiers, host 13 darts

Anno 449. This year Martianus and Valentinus succeeded to the empire, and reigned seven years. And in their days Hengist and Horsa, invited by Vortigern, king of the Britons, landed in Britain, on the shore which is called Wippidsfleet; at first in aid of the Britons, but afterwards they fought against them.


On that fated folk, full of hate the hosters 12 grim

Sent the showers of arrows, spears above the yellow shields;

Forth they shot then snakes of battle13 Through the surge of furious foes, by the strength of fingers! 120 Strode the stark14 in spirit, stroke on stroke they pressed along;

After that they first encountered flying of the King Vortigern gave them land in the southeast of this country, on condition that they should fight against the Picts. Then they fought against the Picts, and had the victory wheresoever they came. They then sent to the Angles; desired a larger force to be sent, and caused them to be told the worthlessness of the Britons, and the excellencies of the land. Then they soon sent thither a larger force in aid of the others. At that time there came men from three tribes in Germany; from the Old-Saxons, from the Angles, from the Jutes. From the Jutes came the Kentish-men and the Wightwarians, that is, the tribe which now dwells in Wight, and that race among the West-Saxons which is still called the race of Jutes. From the Old-Saxons came the men of Essex and

Broke into the wall of boards15, plunged the
bill16 therein:

Thronged the bold in battle! There the banner
was uplifted;
(Shone) the ensign 'fore the host; victory's
song was sung.

Glittered there his javelins, and his golden

14 firm

15 shields

16 sword

*See Eng. Lit., p. 28.

Anno 418. This year the Romans collected all the treasures that were in Britain, and some they hid in the earth, so that no one has since been able to find them; and some they carried with them into Gaul.

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Sussex and Wessex. From Anglia, which has ever since remained waste betwixt the Jutes and Saxons, came the men of East Anglia, Middle Anglia, Mercia, and all North-humbria. Their leaders were two brothers, Hengist and Horsa: they were the sons of Wihtgils; Wihtgils son of Witta, Witta of Wecta, Wecta of Woden: from this Woden sprang all our royal families, and those of the South-humbrians also.†

Anno 455. This year Hengist and Horsa fought against King Vortigern at the place which is called gels-threp2 and his brother

1 princes

2 Aylesford

The language here appears to be that of a northern chronicler. The MS. of this portion has been traced to Peterborough,

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