Cædmon is the earliest English poet whose name is known. An Anglo-Saxon who cared for the animals and was attached to the double monastery of Streonæshalch (Whitby Abbey) during the abbacy (657–680) of St. Hilda (614–680), he was originally ignorant of "the art of song" but learned to compose one night in the course of a dream, according to the 8th-century monk Bede. He later became a zealous monk and an accomplished and inspirational religious poet.
Cædmon is one of twelve Anglo-Saxon poets identified in medieval sources, and one of only three for whom both roughly contemporary biographical information and examples of literary output have survived. His story is related... more »
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Nu scylun hergan hefaenricaes uard metudæs maecti end his modgidanc uerc uuldurfadur sue he uundra gihuaes eci dryctin or astelidæ
Genesis Bk I
I (ll. 1-28) Right is it that we praise the King of heaven, the Lord of hosts, and love Him with all our hearts. For He is great
Genesis Bk Xix
(ll. 1167-1180) And after Cainan Mahalaleel possessed the land and treasure many a year. The prince lived five-and-sixty winters, and begat a son. An heir was born unto his house, and his kinsmen called him Jared, as I have heard. Mahalaleel lived
Genesis Bk Ii
ll. 82-91) The citizens of heaven, the home of glory, dwelt again in concord. Strife was at an end among the angels, discord and dissension, when those warring spirits, shorn of light, were hurled from heaven. Behind them stretching wide their mansions
Genesis Bk Xxi
l. 1327) Then our Lord said unto Noah: (ll. 1328-1355) "I give thee My pledge, dearest of men, that thou mayest go thy way, thou and the seed of every living thing which
Genesis Bk Iv
ll. 169-191) ....It did not seem good to the Lord of heaven that Adam should longer be alone as warden and keeper of this new Paradise. Wherefore the King, Almighty God, wrought him an helpmeet; the Author of life made woman and brought her unto the
Genesis Bk Xiii
ll. 684-703) Long she pled, and urged him all the day to that dark deed, to disobey their Lord's command. Close stood the evil fiend, inflaming with desire, luring with wiles, and boldly tempting him. The fiend stood near at hand who on that fatal
Genesis Bk Vii
(ll. 322-336) The other fiends who waged so fierce a war with God lay wrapped in flames. They suffer torment, hot and surging flame in the midst of hell, broad-stretching blaze of fire and bitter smoke, darkness and gloom, because they broke allegiance
Genesis Bk Xi
ll. 442-460) Then God's enemy began to make him ready, equipped in war-gear, with a wily heart. He set his helm of darkness on his head, bound it full hard, and fastened it with clasps. Many a crafty speech he knew, many a crooked word. Upward he beat his
Genesis Bk Xvii
(ll. 1002-1005) Then the Lord of glory spake unto Cain, and asked where Abel was. Quickly the cursed fashioner of death made answer unto Him:
Genesis Bk Xvi
(ll. 918-924) And unto Eve God spake in wrath: "Turn thee from joy! Thou shalt live under man's dominion, sore smitten with fear before him. With bitter sorrow shalt thou expiate thy sin, waiting for death, bringing forth sons and daughters in the world
Genesis Bk Xv
(ll. 872-881) And straightway God made answer unto him: "Tell me, My son, why stealest thou away into the darkness with shame? Thou didst not formerly feel shame before Me, but only joy. Wherefore art thou humbled and abashed, knowing sorrow, covering
Genesis Bk Xviii
(ll. 1082-1089) And there was also in that tribe another son of Lamech, called Tubal Cain, a smith skilled in his craft. He was the first of all men on the earth to fashion tools of husbandry; and far and wide the city-dwelling sons of men made use of bronze
Genesis Bk V
(ll. 235-236) "...Eat freely of the fruit of every other tree. From that one tree refrain. Beware of its fruit. And ye shall know no dearth of pleasant things."
Comments about Caedmon
Nu scylun hergan hefaenricaes uard
metudæs maecti end his modgidanc
uerc uuldurfadur sue he uundra gihuaes
eci dryctin or astelidæ
he aerist scop aelda barnum
heben til hrofe haleg scepen.
tha middungeard moncynnæs uard
eci dryctin æfter tiadæ
firum foldu frea allmectigprimo cantauit Cædmon istud carmen.
Nu scilun herga hefenricæs uard
metudæs mehti and his modgithanc
uerc uuldurfadur sue he uundra gihuæs
eci dryctin or astelidæ.
he ærist scop ældu barnum
hefen to hrofæ halig sceppend