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water with beauty bright, and sent into the must cede our realm; yet hath he not done world.


360 that he hath struck us down to the fiery abyss THE FALL OF SATAN

of the hot hell, bereft us of heaven 's kingilom,

hath it decreed with mankind The All-powerful had angel tribes, through might of hand, the holy Lord,

to people. That of sorrows is to me the ten established, in whom he trusted well


that Adam shall, who of earth was wrought, that they his service would follow, work his will; therefore gave he them wit,

250 my strong seat possess, and shaped them with his hands; the holy Lord.

be to him in delight, and we endure this torHo had placed them so happily, one he had

ment, made so powerful,

misery in this hell. Oh had I power of my

hands, 80 mighty in his mind's thought, he let him

and might one season be without, sway over so much, highest after himself in heaven's kingdom. He be one winter 's space, then with this host 1—370 had made him so fair,

But around me lie iron bonds, so beauteous was his form in heaven, that came

presseth this cord of chain: I am powerless! to him from the Lord of hosts,

me have so hard the clasps of hell, he was like to the light stars. It was his to

so firmly grasped! Here is a vast fire work the praise of the Lord,

above and underneath, never did I see it was his to hold dear his joys in heaven, and

a loathlier landskip; the flame abateth not, to thank his Lord

hot over hell. Me hath the clasping of these for the reward that he had bestow'd on him in

rings, that light; then had he let him long pos- | debarr'd me from my way; my feet are bound,

this hard-polish'd band, impeded in my course, sess it; but he turned it for himself to a worse thing, my hands manacled, of these hell-doors are began to raise war upon him,

the ways obstructed, so that with aught I cannot against the highest Ruler of aven, who sitteth

from these limb-bonds escape.”—From Genesis. in the holy seat.


THE CLOUD BY DAY The fiend with all his comrades fell then from

Had the cloud, in its wide embrace,

the earth and firmament above alike divided: heaven above, through as long as three nights and days,

it led the nation-host; quenched was the flame

fire, the angels from heaven into hell, and them all

with heat the Lord

heaven-bright. The people were

amazed, transformed to devils, because they his deed

of multitudes most joyous, their day-shield 's and word

shade would not revere; therefore them in a worse

rolled over the clouds. The wise God had light,

310 under the earth beneath, Almighty God

the sun's course with a sail shrouded; had placed triumphless in the swart hell;

though the mast-ropes men knew not, there they bave at even, immeasurably long,

nor the sail-cross might they see, each of all the fiends, a renewal of fire;

the inhabitants of earth, all the enginery; then cometh ere dawn the eastern wind,

how was fastened that greatest of field-houses. frost bitter-cold; ever fire or dart,

THE DROWNING OF PHARAOH AND HIS ARMY some hard torment they must have; it was wrought for them in punishment.

The folk was affrighted, the flood-dread seized





Then spake the haughty king

their sad souls; ocean wailed with death, who of angels erst was brightest,

the mountain heights were with blood befairest in heaven:

steamed, “This narrow place is most unlike

the sea foamed gore, crying was in the waves, that other that we ere knew,

the water full of weapons,

death-mist high in heaven's kingdom, which my master rose; bestow'd on me,

the Egyptians were turned back; though we it, for the All-powerful, may not trembling they fled, they felt fear: possess,

| would that host gladly find their homes;


450 was

their vaunt grew sadder; against them as a their allies, and having delivered them from cloud, rose

their cruel oppressors, advised them to build a the fell rolling of the waves; there came not wall between the two seas across the island, any

that it might secure them, and keep off the of that host to home, but from behind inclosed enemy; and thus they returned home with great them

triumph. The islanders raising the wall, as fate with the wave. Where ways ere lay, they had been directed, not of stone, as having sea raged. Their might was merged,

no artist capable of such a work, but of sods, the streams stood, the storm rose

made it of no use. However, they drew it for high to heaven; the loudest army-cry 460 many miles between the two bays or inlets of the hostile uttered; the air above was thickened the seas, which we have spoken of; to the end with dying voices; blood pervaded the flood, that where the defense of the water was want. the shield-walls were riven, shook the firmamenting, they might use the rampart to defend their that greatest of sea-deaths: the proud died, borders from the irruptions of the enemies. kings in a body; the return prevailed

Of which work there erected, that is, of a ramof the sea at length; their bucklers shone part of extraordinary breadth and height, there high over the soldiers; the sea-wall rose, are evident remains to be seen at this day. It the proud-ocean-stream, their might in death begins at about two miles' distance from the

monastery of Abercurnig,” and running westfastly fettered.- From Exodus.

ward, ends near the city Alcluith.3

But the former enemies, when they perceived

that the Roman soldiers were gone, immediBEDE (673-735)

ately coming by sca, broke into the borders, FROM THE ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY.*

trampled and overran all places, and like men

mowing ripe corn, bore down all before them. THE BRITONS SEEK SUCCOR FROM THE ROMANS | Hereupon messengers are again sent to Rome, THE ROMAN WALL

imploring aid, lest their wretched country From that time,1 the south part of Britain, the Roman province, so long renowned among

should be utterly extirpated, and the name of destitute of armed soldiers, of martial stores, and of all its active youth, which had been led them, overthrown by the cruelties of barbarous away by the rashness of the tyrants, never to A legion is accordingly sent again, and, arriv

foreigners, might become utterly contemptible. return, was wholly exposed to rapine, as being ing unexpectedly in autumn, made great slaughtotally ignorant of the use of weapons. Where ter of the enemy, obliging all those that could upon they suffered many years under two very escape, to flee beyond the sea; whereas before, savage foreign nations, the Scots from the west, they were wont yearly to carry off their booty and the Picts from the north. We call these without any opposition. Then the Romans deforeign nations, not on account of their being clared to the Britons that they could not for seated out of Britain, but because they were

the future undertake such troublesome expediremote from that part of it which was pos- tions for their suke, advising them rather to sessed by the Britons; two inlets of the sea

handle their weapons like men, and undertake lying between them, one of which runs in far themselves the charge of engaging their eneand broad into the land of Britain, from the

mies, who would not prove too powerful for Eastern Ocean, and the other from the West them, unless they were deterred by cowardice; ern, though they do not reach so as to touch and, thinking that it might be some help to the one another. On account of the irruption of these nations, built a strong stone wall from sea to sea, in a

allies, whom they were forced to abandon, they the Britons sent messengers to Rome with let

straight line between the towns that had been ters in mournful manner, praying for succours,

there built for fear of the enemy, and not far and promising perpetual subjection, provided from the trench of Severus. This famous wall, that the impending enemy should be driven which is still to be seen, was built at the public away. An armed legion was immediately sent and private expense, the Britons also lending them, which, arriving in the island, and en

their assistance. It is eight feet in breadth, gaging the enemy, slew a great multitude of and twelve in height, in a straight line from them, drove the rest out of the territories of

2 Abercorn, a village on the south bank of the 1 About 400 onward. * See Eng. Lit., p. 23.

3 Dumbarton.

Firth of Forth.

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, Giles.)

spoke to the same effect.-Book II, Chapter 13.

(Translation from the Latin, edited by J. A PARABLE OF MAN'S LIFE †

A. Giles.) The king, hearing these words, answered,

THE STORY OF CÆDMON that he was both willing and bound to receive the faith which he taught; but that he would

In this Abbess's Minster was a certain brother confer about it with his principal friends and extraordinarily magnified and honoured with a counsellors, to the end that if they also were livine gift; for he was wont to make fitting of his opinion, they might all together be songs which conduced to religion and piety; so cleansed in Christ the Fountain of life. Paul- that whatever he learned through clerks of the inus consenting, the king did as he said; for, holy writings, that he, after a little space, holding a council with the wise men, he asked would usually adorn with the greatest sweetness of everyone in particular what he thought of and feeling, and bring forth in the English the new doctrine, and the new worship that was tongue; and by his songs the minds of many preached? To which the chief of his own men were often inflamed with contempt for the priests, Coifi, immediately answered, “O king, world, and with desire of heavenly life. And consider what this is which is now preached to moreover, many others after him, in the Engus; for I verily declare to you, that the religion lish nation, sought to make pious songs; but which we have hitherto professed has, as far as yet none could do like him, for he had not been I can learn, no virtue in it. For none of your taught from men, nor through man, to learn the people has applied himself more diligently to poetic art; but he was divinely aided, and the worship of our gods than I; and yet there through God's grace received the art of song. are many who receive greater favours from And he therefore never might make aught of you, and are more preferred than I, and are leasing4 or of idle poenis, but just those only more prosperous in all their undertakings. Now which conduced to religion, and which it beif the gods were good for anything, they would came his pious tongue to sing. The man was rather forward me, who have been more careful placed in worldly life until the time that he to serve them. It remains, therefore, that if was of mature age, and had never learned any upon examination you find those new doctrines, poem; and he therefore often in convivial sowhich are now preached to us, better and more ciety, when, for the sake of mirth, it was reefficacious, we immediately receive them with solved that they all in turn should sing to the out any delay.

harp, when he saw the harp approaching him, Another of the king's chief men, approving then for shame he would rise from the assemof his words and exhortations, presently added: bly and go home to his house. "The present life of man, o king, seems to When he so on a certain time did, that he left me, in comparison of that time which is un- the house of the convivial meeting, and was known to us, like to the swift flight of a spar- gone out to the stall of the cattle, the care row through the room wherein you sit at sup of which that night had been committed to per 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 “Cædmon, sing me something." Then he an

† This is an incident of the visit of Paulinus, who, lying

in the year 625, during the reign of King I See Eng. Lit., p. 22. The “Minster" referred to Edwin (Eadwine) of Northumbria, came to was the monastery at Whitby, founded by the England as a missionary from Pope Gregory. Abbess Hilda in 658,

swered and said, “I cannot sing anything, and worldly life and take to monkhood: and he that therefore I went out from this convivial meet. well approved. And she received him into the ing, and retired hither, because I could not.”minster with his goods, and associated him Again he who was speaking with him said, with the congregation of those servants of God, “Yet thou must sing to me. Said he, “What and caused him to be taught the series of the shall I sing?. Said he, “Sing me the origin Holy History and Gospel; and he, all that he of things." When he received this answer, then could learn by hearing, meditated with himhe began forthwith to sing, in praise of God self, and, as a clean5 animal, ruminating, turned the creator, the verses and the words which he into the sweetest verse: and his song and his had never heard, the order of which is this: verse were so winsome to hear, that his teach

ers themselves wrote and learned from his "Now must we praise

mouth. He first sang of earth's creation, and the Guardian of heaven's kingdom,

of the origin of mankind, and all the history the Creator's might,

of Genesis, which is the first book of Moses, and his mind's thought;

and then of the departure of the people of glorious Father of men!

Israel from the Egyptians' land, and of the as of every wonder he,

entrance of the land of promise, and of many Lord eternal,

other histories of the canonical books of Holy formed the beginning.

Writ; and of Christ's incarnation, and of his He first framed

passion, and of his ascension into heaven; and for the children of earth

of the coming of the Holy Ghost, and the docthe heaven as a roof;

trine of the Apostles. And also of the terror holy Creator!

of the doom to come, and the fear of hell then mid-earth,

torment, and the sweetness of the heavenly the Guardian of mankind,

kingdom, he made many poems; and, in like the eternal Lord,

manner, many others of the divine benefits and afterwards produced;

judgments he made; in all which he earnestly the earth for men,

took care to draw men from the love of sins Lord Almighty!”

and wicked deeds, and to excite to a love and

desire of good deeds; for he was a very pious Then he arose from sleep, and had fast in man, and to regular disciplinego humbly submind all that he sleeping bad sung, and to jected; and against those who in otherwise those words forthwith joined many words of would act, he was inflamed with the heat of

great zeal. And he therefore with a fair end song worthy of God in the same measure.

his life closed and ended. Then came he in the morning to the townreeve, who was his superior, and said to him

For when the time approached of his decease what gift he had received;' and he forthwith and departure, then was he for fourteen days led him to the abbess, and told, and made that

ere that oppressed and troubled with bodily in. known to her. Then she bade all the most firmity; yet so moderately that, during all that learned men and the learners to assemble, and time, he could both speak and walk. There was in their presence bade him tell the dream, and in the neighbourhood a house for infirm men, in sing the poem; that, by the judgment of them which it was their custom to bring the infirm, all, it might be determined why or whence that and there attend to them together. Then bade

and those who were on the point of departure, Then it seemed to them all, so as it was, that to him, from the Lord himself, a

he his servant, on the eve of the night that he heavenly gift had been given. Then they ex

was going from the world, to prepare him a pounded to him and said some holy history, place in that house, that he might rest; whereand words of godly lore; then bade him, if he upon the servant wondered why he this bade,

for it seemed to him that his departure was could, to sing some of them, and turn them into the melody of song. When he had undertaken

not so near; yet he did as he said and comthe thing, then went he home to his house, manded. And when he there went to bed, and and came again in the morning, and sang and in joyful mood was speaking some things, and gave to them, adorned with the best poetry, previously, then it was over midnight that he

joking together with those who were therein what had been entrusted to him.

Then began the abbess to make much of and asked, whether they had the eucharisti within! love the grace of God in the man; and she

5 In the ceremonial sense (see Leriticus, xi). then exhorted and instructed him to forsake 1

6 penances

7 host, or consecrated bread

was come.



itself to me;

They answered, “What need is to thee of the Fare above the floor of earth, burn the folkeucharist? Thy departure is not so near, now

halls down, thou thus cheerfully and thus gladly art speak. Ravage all the rooms! There the reek ariseth ing to us. Again he said, “Bring me never Gray above the gables. Great on earth the din, theless the eucharist."

And the slaughter-qualm of men. Then I shake When he had it in his hands, he asked, the woodland, Whether they had all a placid mind and kind, Forests rich in fruits; then I fell the trees ;and without any ill-will towards him? Then I with water over-vaulted-by the wondrous they all answered, and said, that they knew Powers

10 of no ill-will towards him, but they all were Sent upon my way, far and wide to drive along! very kindly disposed and they besought him in On my back I carry that which covered once turn that he would be kindly disposed to them all the tribes of Earth's indwellers, spirits and all. Then he answered and said, “My beloved

all flesh, brethren, I am very kindly disposed to you and In the sand together! Say who shuts me in, all God's men." And he thus was strengthen- Or what is my name—I who bear this burden! ing bimself with the heavenly viaticum,8 and


A Storm on Land. preparing himself an entrance into another

RIDDLE VI. life. Again he asked, “How near it was to the hour that the brethren must rise and teach the I am all alone, with the iron wounded, people of God, and sing their nocturns?!9 With the sword slashed into, sick of work of They answered, “It is not far to that." He battle, said, “It is well, let us await the hour.' And Of the edges weary. Oft I see the slaughter, then he prayed, and signed himself with Oft the fiercest fighting. Of comfort Christ's cross, and reclined his head on the bol- ween 1,ster, 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

5 as he with pure and calm mind and tranquil Ere I, with the warriors, have been utterly fordevotion had served God, that he, in like man

done. ner, left the world with as calm a death, and But the heritage of hammers? hews adown at went to His presence; and the tongue that had me, composed so many holy words in the Creator's Stark of edges, sworded-sharp, of the smiths praise, he then in like manner its last words the handiwork, closed in His praise, crossing himself, and com. On me biting in the burgs! Worse the batmitting his soul into His hands. Thus it is

tle is seen that he was conscious of his own depart. I must bear for ever! Not one of the Leech

10 ure, from what we have now heard say.-Book

kin, 3 IV., Chapter 24. (Translated from Latin into In the fold-stead, could I find out, Anglo-Saxon by Alfred the Great. Modern Who, with herbs he has, then should heal me of English translation by Benjamin Thorpe.)

my wound! But the notching of my edges more and more

becomes CYNEWULF (A. 750)*

Through the deadly strokes of swords, in the daylight, in the night.

Of the Shield. RIDDLE II.

RIDDLE XV. Who so wary and so wise of the warriors lives, That he dare declare who doth drive me on my I a weaponed warrior was! Now in pride

bedecks me When I start up in my strength! Oft in stormy A young all with silver and fine wrath,

gold, Hugely then I thunder, tear along in gusts,

With the work of waving gyres! 4 Warriors

sometimes kiss me; 8 provisions for a journey (in this case the eu

Sometimes I to strife of battle summon with charist)

my calling service before daybreak These extracts from Cynewulf's writings

Willing war-companions! Whiles, the horse translations by Mr. Stopford Brooke, and



5 have been taken from Mr. Brooke's History of Early English Literature by permission of the 1 battle uproar

3 physicians publishers, Messrs. Macmillan & Co.

2 swords

4 circles

doth carry

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