Durham

Is this city famous throughout Britain’s realm,
of many steps founded, the stones without
wondrously have waxed. The Wear flows around it,
a river strong of wave, and therein dwell
myriad kind of fishes, mingled in the flood.
And there is grown up within a great wood-fastness
where dwell within the city many wild beasts—
in the deep dales deer innumerable.

Also in that city there is well-known among her sons,
the mercy-fast, the blessed Cuthberg, and the head of the pure king,
Oswald, Lion of the English,* and Bishop Aidan,
Eadberh and Eadfrith, worthy companions.
There is among them, Aethelwold the bishop
and the famous scholar Bede, and Basil the abbot,
that taught the virginal Cuthbert in his youth fervently,
and Cuthbert took well to his lessons —

There dwells among the blessed in that minster also
           relics uncountable,
where many are worthied, just as the Book says to do —
in their company a man of God can await his glory.

* Could also be “shelter (hleo) of the English,” which is a variation on a fairly common epithet formula.

 

The Partridge

I have heard told moreover
about a certain bird
wonderful…

… fair,

that word which the Prince of Glory spoke:

“In any season, so you all turn towards me
in troth within your minds,
and you all yield to dark hellish crimes,
so I always turn back to you at once
with peaceful love, through a mild spirit.
You all are reckoned and counted
among the brightly glory-blessed afterwards,
blazing brethren in the place of children.”

Let us be soothing to God more eagerly,
despising foul deeds, laboring towards peace,
the multitude to the Lord, as long as day may shine for us,
so that the most noble of dwellings
be allowed to abide in the brightness of glory.

Finit

 

 

Almsgiving

It will be well for that earl who keeps inside himself,
the right-thinking man, a roomy heart —
so that the most of honorable intentions
will be the greatest glory for the world
and for our Lord. Even so this man extinguishes
the flame with the welling waters,
so that he cannot for long be injured
in the cities with the burning brightness
so he with almsdeeds shoves away entirely
the wounds of sinfulness, healing the soul.

 

 

Pharaoh

“Say to me what was the entirety of the soldiers
in Pharaoh’s army, which they began to follow
the folk of God through their enmity…”

“I know it not in any way, except I believe thus,
that there were six hundred chariots,
counted by number, each bearing armor-havers—

that were all seized by the waves,
the wrathful event in this worldly realm.”

 

 

The Lord’s Prayer I (The Exeter Book)

Holy Father, you who abide in the heavens,
worthied in the joys of glory. May your name be hallowed
by your works among the children of humanity—
You are the savior of men. Your wide kingdom comes,
your will be counsel-fast, reared under the roof of the sky,
as it also is upon the spacious earth.
Give us today profits bound in judgment,
our own loaves, Helper of Men,
everlasting, truth-fast Measurer.
Nor let us be vexed by temptation too greatly,
yet give us our liberty, Sovereign of Peoples,
from every sort of evil, to the very width of life.

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *