« AnteriorContinuar »
was in the twelfth century, and up to the time of that were adopted by their successors. Some of Elizabeth, that Welsh literature was in its ‘most the tales and legends of the Scandinavian Scalds high and palmy state ;' and the massacre of the were popular and served as models; and the bards attributed to Edward I., and commemorated Anglo-Saxon gleemen who sung, danced, and in undying verse by Gray, seems to be wholly recited, were the precursors of the more lettered without foundation.
and refined minstrels of a later age. The oldest The Gael as well as the Cymry had regular poem of an epic form in Europe is believed to be bards, who chanted the praises of their monarchs an Anglo-Saxon production, the Lay of Beowulf, and chiefs, and recounted the deeds of their ances- which describes an expedition made by Beowulf to tors. Ireland was early distinguished as a seat of deliver a Danish king from a demon or monster learning, and from its colleges or monasteries called Grendel. Beowulf vanquished the 'shelearning and Christianity were diffused over the wolf of the abyss; she sank upon the floor, the kingdom, even to the remote Hebrides. The Irish sword was bloody, the man rejoiced in his deed; annals are among our most ancient records. the beam shone, light stood within, even as from Pelagius, Celestius, and St Patrick are said to heaven mildly shines the lamp of the firmament.' have been natives of the British Islands. The A few words will give an idea of the language : tradition is doubtful, but, if Scotland in the fifth
Tha com of more,
Then came from the moor, century gave St Patrick to Ireland she received in
Under mist-hleodhun, Under mist-hills, the sixth a more memorable return in Columba,
Grendel to go ; the saint of lona.
Goddes yrrre bär.
God's ire he bare. We know from Barbour and Gawin Douglas There are above six thousand of these short lines ! that in Scotland, at a very early period, the names of Fingal and Gaul, the son of Morni, were, pop, remains, the Traveller's Song and the Battle of
Besides Beowulf there are two other Anglo-Saxon ular among the people. A body of traditional poetry was long prevalent in the Highlands, some
Finnesburg; also a fragment named Judith, of which Macpherson collected and expanded founded on the Apocrypha : into regular poems-nay, epics; and many Celtic fragments have since been published in Ireland,
Judith slays Holofernes. describing the Fenian wars and the lamentations The maid of the Creator with the twisted locks took of blind Ossian. They are curious as antiquarian then a sharp sword, hard with scouring, and from the relics and national memorials, but as to poetical sheath drew it with her right limb. She took the merit, they cannot for a moment be put
heathen man fast by his hair ; she drew him by his parison with the Macpherson manufacture. It is limbs towards her disgracefully, and the mischief-ful the coat of frieze beside the royal tartan.
odious man at her pleasure laid, so as the wretch she The earliest Anglo-Saxon historians, Gildas, might the easiest well command. She with the twisted
locks struck the hateful enemy, meditating hate with Nennius, and Columbanus, wrote in Latin in the the red sword, till she had half cut off his neck, so that sixth century. The most celebrated of these liter- he lay in a swoon, drunk and mortally wounded. He ary ecclesiastics, and the greatest scholar of his was not then dead, not entirely lifeless, she struck then age, was BEDE, known in history as the 'Vener- earnest, the woman illustrious in strength, another time able Bede.' He was born about the year 672, the heathen hound, till that his head rolled forth upon entered the monastery of St Peter at Wearmouth, the floor! The foul one lay without a coffer ; backward county of Durham, at the age of seven, removed his spirit turned under the abyss, and there was plunged in his nineteenth year to the neighbouring monas- below, with sulphur fastened, for ever afterwards wounded tery of Jarrow, where he took orders, and was by worms. Bound in torments, hard-imprisoned, in hell ordained priest, and where he passed the remain- he burns. After his course he need not hope, with der of his studious life till his death, May 26, 735. mansion of worms ; but there he shall remain ever and
darkness overwhelmed, that he may escape from that The works of Bede are numerous, including hom
ever without end, henceforth in that cavern-home, void ilies, lives of saints, hymns, treatises on grammar of the joys of hope. and chronology, commentaries on the Bible and Apocrypha, a collection of epigrams, &c. In the spirit of Chaucer's 'Clerk of Oxenforde,' the good
CÆDMON, THE MONK OF WHITBY. monk said : 'It was always sweet to me to learn, The next poet is CÆDMON, a monk of Whitby, to teach, and to write. His greatest work is the who died about 680. Cædmon was a genius of Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, an eccle- the class headed by Burns, a poet of nature's siastical history of England, which is also our making, sprung from the bosom of the common chief authority for the civil history of the country people, and little indebted to education. It apdown to nearly the middle of the eighth century. pears that he at one time acted in the capacity of -Among the other Latin writers may be named a cow-herd. The circumstances under which his EGBERT, archbishop of York (678–766), St Boni- talents were first developed, are narrated by Bede FACE (Wilfred, who lived about 680–755), and with a strong cast of the marvellous, under which ALCUIN (about 735-804). For three or four cen- it is possible, however, to trace a basis of natural turies afterwards, Latin treatises, historical and truth. We are told that he was so much less theological, issued occasionally from the monkish instructed than most of his equals, that he had retreats.
not even learned any poetry; so that he was fre
quently obliged to retire, in order to hide his ANGLO-SAXON WRITERS.
shame, when the harp was moved towards him in
the hall, where at supper it was customary for From its first establishment in Britain, the each person to sing in turn. On one of these Anglo-Saxon language experienced scarcely any occasions, it happened to be Cædmon's turn to change till after the irruption of the Danes. The keep guard at the stable during the night, and, accomplished Romans left few words behind them overcome with vexation, he quitted the table and retired to his post of duty, where, laying himself his joys in Heaven ; he should have thanked his Lord down, he fell into a sound slumber. In the midst for the bounty which in that brightness he shared, when of his sleep, a stranger appeared to him, and, he was permitted so long to govern. But he departed saluting him by his name, said : “ Cædmon, sing from it to a worse thing: He began to upheave strise me something." Cædmon answered: “I know against the Governor of the highest heavens that sits nothing to sing ; for my incapacity in this respect whom it could not be hid that his angel began to be
on the holy seat. Dear was he to our Lord ; from was the cause of my leaving the hall to come hither.” “Nay,” said the stranger, “but thou over proud. He raised himself against his master ; he hast something to sing." "What must I sing?” he would not serve God, he said he was his equal in
sought inflaming speeches, he began vainglorious words; said Cædmon. “Sing the Creation,” was the light and shining, as white and as bright in hue. Nor reply; and thereupon Cædmon began to sing could he find it in his mind to render obedience to his verses " which he had never heard before," and God, to his King. He thought in himself that he could which are said to have been as follows:
have subjects of more might and skill than the Holy
God. Spake many words this angel of pride. He Nu we sceolan herian Now we shall praise
thought through his own craft that he could make a heofon-rices weard, the guardian of heaven, more strong-like seat higher in the heavens. metodes mihte,
the might of the creator, and his mod-ge-thonc, and his counsel,
Satan's Speech. wera wuldor fæder ! the glory-father of men ! swa he wundra ge-hwæs, how he of all wonders,
•What shall I for his favour serve, bend to him in such ece dryhten, the eternal lord,
vassalage ? I may be a God as he. Stand by me strong oord onstealde. formed the beginning.
associates, who will not fail me in the strife. Heroes He ærest ge-scéop He first created
stern of mood, they have chosen me for chief, renowned ylda bearnum for the children of men
warriors!' ... Boiled within him his thought about his heofon to hrófe, heaven as a roof,
heart ; hot was without him his dire punishment. Then halig scyppend! the holy creator !
spake he words: “This narrow place is most unlike that Tha middan-geard then the world
other that we formerly knew, high in Heaven's kingdom,
which mon-cynnes weard, the guardian of mankind, All-powerful, may not possess,
my master bestowed on me, though we it, for the ece dryhten, the eternal lord,
We must cede our æster teode, produced afterwards,
realm , yet hath he not done rightly, that he hath struck firum foldan, the earth for men,
us down to the fiery abyss of the hot hell, bereft us of frea ælmihtig! the almighty master !
Heaven's kingdom, hath decreed to people it with mankind. That is to me of sorrows the greatest, that Adam,
who was wrought of earth, shall possess my strong seat; Cædmon then awoke, and he was not only able to that it shall be to him in delight, and we endure this repeat the lines which he had made in his sleep, torment-misery in this hell. Oh'! had I the power of but he continued them in a strain of admirable my hands, and might one season be without, be one versification. In the morning, he hastened to the winter's space, then with this host I— But around me town-reeve, or bailiff, of Whitby, who carried him lie iron bonds, presseth this cord of chain ; I am powerbefore the Abbess Hilda ; and there, in the pres- less, me have so hard the clasps of hell so firmly grasped. ence of some of the learned men of the place, he Here is a vast fire above and underneath ; never did I told his story, and they were all of opinion that he see a loathlier landscape ; the flame abateth not, hot had received the gift of song from Heaven. They
over hell. Me hath the clasping of these rings, this hard then expounded to him in his mother-tongue a
polished band, impeded in my course, debarred me from portion of Scripture, which he was required to my way.in n About me lie huge gratings of hard iron, repeat in verse. Cædmon went home, with his forged with heat with which me God has fastened by the
neck. Thus perceive I that he knoweth my mind.' task, and the next morning he produced a poem which excelled in beauty all that they were accus
The Anglo-Saxon poetry is not in rhyming tomed to hear. Cædmon composed many poems verse, but is alliterative. There are three alliteron the Bible histories, and on miscellaneous ative words in the couplet, two in the first line, religious subjects, some of which have been pre- and one in the second : served. His account of the Fall of Man resembles that in Paradise Lost, and one passage might
Like was he [Satan) to the light stars ;
The laud (praise) of the Ruler ought he to have almost be supposed to have suggested a corre- wrought, sponding one in Milton's sublime epic (Book Dear should he hold his delights in heaven. II.), where Satan is described as reviving from the consternation of his overthrow. From Turner's
ALFRED THE GREAT. Anglo-Saxons and Thorpe's edition of Cædmon we make two short extracts :
That wise and energetic sovereign King ALFRED
was the earliest of our royal authors. He was Satan's Hostility.
born at Wantage, in Berkshire, in 849, succeeded
to the crown at the age of 23, was driven from The universal Ruler had of the angelic race, through his throne by the Danes, who overran the kinghis hand-power—the holy Lord ! — -a fortress established. dom of the West Saxons ; but after experiencing To them he well trusted that they his service would various reverses, completely routed the invaders follow, would do his will. For this he gave them under; in 879, and, having firmly established his sway, standing, and with his hands made them. The holy Lord set himself to reform and instruct his people, had stationed them so happily: One he had so strongly made, so mighty in his mind's thought, he let him rule He established many beneficial institutions and so much—the highest in Heaven's kingdom ; he had just laws, he translated the historical works of made him so splendid, so beautiful was his fruit in Orosius and Bede, Boethius on the Consolations Heaven, which to him came from the Lord of Hosts, of Philosophy, and selections from the Soliloquies that he was like the brilliant stars. Praise ought he to of St Augustine ; and he wrote in the Anglohave made to his Lord; he should have valued dear Saxon language an account of the Laws of the West Saxons, and various chronicles, meditations, 1006. This learned prelate was a voluminous &c. Another invasion of the Northmen in 893 writer, and, like Alfred, entertained a strong wish threatened to destroy all the patriotic and en- to enlighten the people; he wrote much in his lightened labours of Alfred, but he succeeded in native tongue, particularly a collection of homilies, defeating the barbarians, and restoring his country a translation of the first seven books of the Bible, to peace and prosperity. He died October 28, and some religious treatises. He was also the 901. The character of this monarch, comprising author of a grammar of the Latin tongue, which so much gentleness, along with dignity and manly has given him the sub-name of the Grammarian.' vigour, and displaying pure tastes calculated to The Danish sovereign, Cnut or CANUTE (1017be beneficial to others as well as himself, would 1036), is said to have composed a song on hearhave graced the most civilised age nearly as ing the music of Ely Cathedral, as he was in a much as it graced one of the rudest. A short boat on the river Nen. One verse of this song specimen of the language of Alfred may be given has been preserved by the monk of Ely (Historia from his translation of the Pastorals of St Gregory. Eliensis) who wrote about the year 1166, and it Referring to the decay of learning among the continued, after the lapse of a century and a half, people, especially the religious orders, the king to be very popular with the people. The language says:
is still so intelligible, that we may suspect the Swa clæne heo wæs othfeallen on Anglecynne, thæt monk to have slightly modernised it in accordfeawa wæron behæonan Humbre the hira thenunge ance with the English of the middle of the twelfth euthon understandan on Englise, oththe furthon an century : ærend-ge-writ of Ledene on Englise areccan ; and ic Merie sungen the muneches binnen Ely wene thæt naht monige be-geondan Humbre næron. Tha Cnut Ching rew there by: Swa feawa heora woron, thet ic furthon anne enlene Roweth, cnihtes, noer the lant, ne mæg ge-thencan besuthan Thamise tha tha ic to rice
And here we thes muneches saeng. feng. Gode clmightigum ay thane, that we nu enigne an steal habbath larcown.
Merry (sweetly) sung the monks within Ely So clean it was ruined amongst the English people,
That (when) Cnut King rowed thereby : that there were very few on this side the ňumber who
Row, knights, near the land, could understand their service in English, or declare
And hear we these monks' song. forth an epistle out of Latin into English; and I think The SAXON CHRONICLE relates events from that there were not many beyond the Humber. So few the earliest time to the year 891, compiled, as is such there were, that I cannot think of a single one to the south of the Thames when I began to reign. To for the use of King Alfred. A continuation to the
believed, by Plegmund, archbishop of Canterbury, God Almighty be thanks, that we now have any teacher first year of Henry II., or the year 1154, was afterin stall.
wards added. The united work forms but a dry In Alfred's poetical translation of the poetry in record of facts or marvellous occurrences, but it is Boethius, there is, as Turner remarks, an effort at one of the authorities for the conquest of Britain, description in passages like the following:
agreeing as it does with the previous narratives of
Gildas and Bede. Much of our early history, preThen Wisdom again unlocked her word-treasure. vious to the introduction of Christianity in the year She sang true, and thus herself said : 'When the sun 597, is now considered mythical. Hengist and clearest shines, serenest in heaven, speedily will be Horsa, the reputed popular leaders of the invasion darkened all over the earth the other stars.
For this, in 450, are ranked by Macaulay with Romulus their brightness cannot be set aught against the sun's and Remus, and whole files of English and Scotlight. When mild blows the south and west wind tish kings have been swept from history into the under heaven, then quickly increase the blossoms of the fields, that they may rejoice. But the dark storm, when
region of fable. he cometh strong from north and east, he taketh away speedily the blossoms of the rose; and also the wide sea, ODE ON THE BATTLE OF BRUNANBURH. the northern tempest drives with vehemence, that it be strong excited, and lashes the shores. All that is on In 918 was fought the important battle of earth, even the fast-built works in the world will not Brunanburh, which gave Athelstan the fame of remain for ever.'
being the founder of the English monarchy. A
native bard celebrated the great victory in an Two short comparisons by Alfred :
ode of about 150 lines, beginning thus : So oft the mild sea with south wind, as gray glass
Æthelstan cyning, clear, becomes grimly troubled, then the great waves
Lord of earls, mingle, the sea-whales rear themselves ; rough is then
Beorna beahgypa ! that which before was glad to look at.
Bracelet-giver of barons ! And his brother eac,
And his brother eke, So oft a spring bursts from the hoary cliffs, cold and
Eadmund Ætheling. Edmund Ætheling (or clear, and diffusely flows on, it runneth along the earth;
Prince). a great mountain-stone falleth, and in the midst of it lies trundled from the mountain; it then into two
A lasting glory won by slaughter in battle with the streams is divided ; the pure lake becomes troubled and edges of swords at Brunanburh! The wall of shields turbid, and the brook is changed from its right course. they cleaved, they hewed the noble banners. . .. Pur
suing, they destroyed the Scottish people and the shipARCHBISHOP ALFRIC-CANUTE-THE SAXON
fleet. They fell dead! The field resounded, the warriors
sweat! After that the sun rose in the morning hourCHRONICLE.
the greatest star! glad above the earth God's candle After Alfred, the next important name is that of bright, the eternal Lord's ! till the noble creature hastALFRIC, archbishop of Canterbury, who died in ened to her setting! ... Five lay in that battle-place,
young kings, by swords quieted. So also seven, the Alfred's Boethius, by Rawlinson.
Earls of Anlaf, and innumerable of the army of the fleet, and the Scots. So the brothers both together, been traced up to various sources ; but neither the king and the atheling their country sought, the the Scaldic, nor Saracenic, nor Armorican theory West-Saxon land. The screamers of war they left of its origin can sufficiently account for all its behind, the raven to enjoy, the dismal kite and the materials. Many of them are classical, and others black raven with horned beak, and the hoarse toad; the derived from the Scriptures. The migrations of eagle afterwards to feast on the white flesh, the greedy science are difficult enough to be traced ; but battle-hawk, and the gray beast, the wolf in the wood. *
fiction travels on still lighter wings, and scatters
the seeds of her wild-flowers imperceptibly over ANGLO-NORMAN OR SEMI-SAXON WRITERS. the world, till they surprise us by springing up The original Anglo-Saxon terminated with the
with similarity in regions the most remotely
divided.'* middle of the eleventh century, or the conquest of England by the Normans in 1066. A great change was effected in the national speech. WACE, LAYAMON, AND THE ORMULUM. Norman-French became the language of education, of the law-courts, the clergy, and the upper be Maister Wace, a native of Jersey, who, about
The earliest Anglo-Norman translator is said to classes generally, while Saxon shared in the degradation that the mass of the people experienced 1160, rendered into verse the history by Geoffrey under their conquerors. But though depressed, the of Monmouth, in which the affairs of Britain were old speech could not be extinguished. It main- traced through a series of imaginary kings, begintained its ground as the substance of the popular ning with Brutus of Troy, and ending with Čadlanguage, and being gradually blended with the walader, who was said to have lived in the year Norman, formed the basis of our English tongue.
689 of the Christian era. Wace also composed The Saxon was changed from an inflectional into a history of the Normans, under the title of the a non-inflectional and analytical language, and Roman de Rou, that is, the Romance of Rollo, first the state of transition is considered to have Duke of Normandy; and from admiration of his occupied about two centuries, from the middle works, Henry II, bestowed upon Wace a canonry of the twelfth to the middle of the fourteenth in the cathedral of Bayeux. Among the other century.
Anglo-Norman French works were : The Roman The first literary efforts after the Conquest were
de la Rose, imitated by Chaucer; the Romance of in the form of translations or imitations of the Troy, and Chronicle of the Duke of Normandy, by Norman poets. Rhyme and metre were intro- BENOIT DE ST MAUR (1180); a Chronicle of the duced. The language named from its origin Anglo-Saxon Kings, by GEOFFREY GAIMAR(1148), Roman (the lingua Romana, whence we derive of no less than 15,300 lines! The original work,
&c. Wace's poem, Le Brut d'Angleterre, consists our term Romance) was separated into two great divisions—that of the south, which is popularly Geoffrey of Monmouth's history, is remarkable on represented by the Provençal, and that of the account of its effect on subsequent literature. The north, which formed the French and Anglo
Britons settled in Wales, Cornwall, and Bretagne, Norman. The Provençal used to be distin- were distinguished for the store of fanciful and guished by the name of the Langue d'Oc, and the fabulous legends they possessed. For centuries northern French by that of the Langue d'Oil, both previous, Europe had been supplied with tale and being derived from the words for yes, which were
fable from the teeming fountain of Bretagne. oc in the one and oil (afterwards oui) in the other. Walter Calenius, archdean of Oxford, collected The poets of the south were denominated troba- some of these tales, professedly historical, relating dores or troubadours, and those in the north trou- to England, and communicated them to Geoffrey, vères. The troubadours included princes and by whom they were put into the form of a regular nobles, who sung as well as composed their historical work, and introduced for the first time amatory lyrics and light satires. Richard I. to the learned world. As little else than a bundle (Cæur de Lion), it will be recollected, was one of of incredible stories, partly founded on fact, this the number ; and during the twelfth and thir- production is of small value ; but it supplied a teenth centuries there were several hundreds of ground for Wace's poem, and proved an unfailing these troubadour versifiers in the Provençal lan- resource for the writers of romantic narrative durguage. The trouvères wrote graver strains, ro- its influence was not exhausted; Spenser and
ing the next two centuries. Even in a later age mances, legends, chronicles, and national ballads. Shakspeare adopted the story of Lear, and SackA trouvère, Taillefer, at the battle of Hastings, ville that of Ferrex and Porrex, while Drayton rode in front of the invading army, chanting the songs which told of Charlemagne and Roland, reproduced much of it in his Polyolbion, and and was the first of the Normans to rush on the allusions to it are seen in the poetry of Milton and enemy. As to the origin of the popular fables Gray. Pope, too, contemplated an epic on the and chivalrous romances, Campbell has finely
story of Brutus. said: “The elements of romantic fiction have
As contributions to real history, though often
doubtful or exaggerated, may be mentioned the • Turner's Anglo-Saxons, vol. ii. 289.
works in Latin of INGULPH, abbot of Croyland + Hallam thus describes the process: 'The Anglo-Saxon was (circa 1030-1109), who wrote a history of his the pronunciation and orthography of words : 2. By omitting many MALMESBURY (circa 1095-1143), author of a valuconverted into English: .. By contracting or otherwise modifying abbey, and a Life of St Guthlac ; WILLIAM OF use of articles and auxiliaries : 3. By the introduction of French able work, De Regibus Anglorum, a general history derivatives; and, 4 By using less inversion and ellipsis,
espea of England from the period of the Saxon invasion considered as sufficient to describe a new form of language ; and to the 26th Henry I. in 1126, and a continuation this was brought about so gradually, that we are not relieved of to 1143, with a history of the church, and other much of our difficulty, whether some compositions shall pass for the latest offspring of the mother, or for the earliest fruits of the daughter's fertility.'-Literature of Europe, Part I. 47.
Essay on English Poetry.
works (this monk of Malmesbury is the most work, the ORMULUM, so called after the name of able and original of the early historians); HENRY its author, Orm or Ormin. This poem-or rather OF HUNTINGDON (died after 1154) wrote a history series of poems, for it consists of homilies and of England to the period of Stephen; GIRALDUS lessons from the New Testament—is also of great CAMBRENSIS, or GERALD DE BARRI (circa 1146- length, extending to nearly 10,000 lines, or coup1222), preached the crusade to the Welsh in 1188, lets of fifteen syllables. It has one mark of proand wrote Itinerarium Cambriæ and Topographia gress in the language-the alliterative system is Hibernia; ROGER DE HOVEDEN (died after 1202) abandoned, though this did not become general, wrote Annales Rerum Anglicarum, 732 to 1202 ; and Ormin's English has a more modern air than MATTHEW OF PARIS (died about 1259) wrote that of Layamon. He dedicates his work to his Historia Angliæ ad ultimum annum Henrici III.; brother : and MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER, a Benedictine monk who flourished in the fourteenth century,
Nu, brotherr Wallterr, brotherr min author of Flores Historiarum ab exordio Mundi
Affterr the flashes kinde;
Annd brotherr min i Crisstenddom usque ad 1307.
Thurrh fulluhht and thurrh trowwthe ; Wace's legendary poem was expanded into
Annd brotherr min i Godess hus. 32,250 lines by a monk, LAYAMON, who describes himself as a priest of Ernley, near Redstone, on
Now, brother Walter, brother mine the Severn. His additions to the work of Wace
After the flesh's kind (or nature) ; were made partly from Bede, but chiefly from
And brother mine in Christendom Welsh and other traditional sources, with pas
Through baptism and through truth; sages by Layamon himself. The date of the
And brother mine in God's house. poem, when completed, is about the year 1205. Sir Frederick Madden, who published an edition A treatise termed The Ancren Riwle, or Female of it (1847), says, that in many passages of the Anchorite's Rule, is referred to the same period poem the spirit and style of the Anglo-Saxon -not later than 1205. It is in eight parts, written writers have been preserved. It embodied the by an ecclesiastic, on the duties of a monastic life. current language of the time, and has very few The work was edited by the Rev. James Morton Norman words. The versification combines the in 1853, and is attributed by him to a Bishop Poor, alliteration characteristic of Anglo-Saxon poetry who died in 1237. One peculiarity of the work with the rhyming couplets of the French. The is the great number of Norman-French words it structure of the verse, however, is by no means contains. The writer tells the anchorite : 'Ye ne regular. Two manuscripts of the poem exist, one schulen eten vleschs ne seim, buten ine muchele twenty or thirty year later than the other, and secnesse; other hwoso is ever feble eteth potage there is a considerable difference in the text. We blitheliche; and wunieth ou to lutel drunch. (Ye subjoin a specimen, with Sir Frederick Madden's shall not eat flesh nor lard, except in much sicktranslation of the earlier text:
ness; but the feeble may eat pottage blithely, and
accustom themselves to a little drink.) Early Text,
An English version of Genesis and Exodus, An preost wes on leoden, A prest was in londe,
extending to above 4000 lines, is about the same Layamon wes ihoten : Laweman was [i] hote :
date ; and an original poem, The Owl and the he wes Leouenadhes sone ; he, was Leucais sone ; lidhe him beo drihten : lef him beo drihte :
Nightingale (1250–1260) is ascribed to NICHOLAS he wonede at Ernleye, he wonede at Ernleie,
DE GUILDFORD. It opens thus : at ædhelen are chirechen, wid than gode chithte,
Ich was in one sumere dale, I was in one summer dale, uppen Seuarne stathe
uppen Seuarne : sel thar him thuhte : merie ther him thohte:
In one suthe dithele hale; In a very secret hollow; on fest Radestone, fastebi Radestone
I herd ich holde grete tale I heard each hold great tale ther he bock radde. ther he bokes radde.
An hule and one nihtingale An owl and one nightingale Hit com him on mode, Hit com him on mode,
That plait was stiff, and That plain was stiff, and and on his mern thonke, and on his thonke,
starc, and strong,
stark, and strong, thet he wolde of Engle that he wolde of Engelond
Sum wile soft and lude Somewhile soft and loud tha ædhelæn tellen, the rihtnesse tell,
among wat heo ihoten weoren,
wat the men hi-hot weren, and wonene heo comen, and wanene hi comen,
Of about the same antiquity is the following detha Englene londe the Englene lond
scriptive little song : ærest ahten
ærest afden after than flode after than flode
Sumer is i-cumen in, Summer is coming in, the from drihtene com, that fram god com,
Lhude sing cuccu;
Loud sing, cuckoo ! the al her a-quelde that al ere acwelde
Groweth sed and bloweth Groweth seed and bloweth quic that he funde. cwic that hit funde.
And springth the wde And springeth the wood There was a priest on earth (or in the land), who was named Layamon; he was son of Leovenath, may the Sing cuccu, cuccu. Sing cuckoo, cuckoo. Lord be gracious to him he dwelt at Ernley, at a Awe bleteth after lomb, Ewe bleateth after lamb, noble church upon Severn's bank-good it there seemed
Lhouth after calve cu ;
Loweth aster calf cow, to him-near Radestone, where he books read. It Bullock sterteth, bucke Bullock starteth, buck vertcame to him in mind, and in his chief thought, that he verteth,
eth, would tell the noble deeds of the English, what they
Murie sing, cuccu. Merry sing, cuckoo ! were named, and whence they came, who first possessed Wel singes thu cuccu, Well sing thou, cuckoo, the English land, after the flood that came from the Ne swik thou nauer nu. Nor cease to sing now. Lord, that destroyed here all that it found alive.
Sing cuccu, cuccu. Sing cuckoo, cuckoo. About the same time was produced a metrical * Verteth, goes to harbour among the fern.-WARTON.