Caedmon’s Hymn

From a MS of Caedmon's Hymn. Bodleian Library, Oxford. Illustration for English Literature by Richard Garnett and Edmund Gosse (Heinemann, 1903).

The story of Cain from the Caedmon manuscript.

Caedmon was an Anglo-Saxon who cared for the animals at Whitby Abbey. He was ignorant of the “art of song”, but according to the 8th Century monk Bede, he learned to compose one night in a dream sent to him by God. He later joined the Abbey and became an inspirational poet. Today I share his surviving work – Caedmon’s Hymn.


Caedmon’s Hymn

Now we must honor the guardian of heaven,

the might of the architect, and his purpose,

the work of the father of glory

as he, the eternal lord, established the beginning of wonders;

he first created for the children of men

heaven as a roof, the holy creator

Then the guardian of mankind,

the eternal lord, afterwards appointed the middle earth,

the lands for men, the Lord almighty.

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Filed under Bede, Poetry, Prayer

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