The two earliest of these manuscripts render the poem in a Northumbrian dialect. The Cambridge University Library "Moore" manuscript appears in an 8th-century hand, and the Leningrad manuscript can be precisely dated in When the workers routinely ate together in the hall at a table, they entertained each other by singing lyrics to a hand-held harp, passed around. Surviving Old English poetry hints at what they sang about: historical battles like Maldon, mythic heroes like Beowulf, lonely wanderers by land and sea such as Widsith, and riddles. One time, when his turn came to sleep with the animals, he had a dream. In it a man called him by name and told him to sing.

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In fact, Caedmon is considered to be the first English poet. Who Was Caedmon? Caedmon was a Celtic herdsman who lived around B. He used to listen to teachings in the Streon;shalch monastery, and then he would go home and write music to what he heard.

But for most of his life, he had no musical talent. Bede, an English monk who lived from A. And by his poem-songs the spirits of many men were kindled to distain of the world and to service of a heavenly life.

His songs were spiritual in nature and encouraged those who heard them to live holy lives. As the story goes, the monks would pass around a harp and people would take turns singing. Caedmon was embarrassed, so he left early.

When he got home, he went out to the barn and fell asleep. He first created for the sons of men Heaven as a roof, the holy Creator, then Middle-earth the keeper of mankind, the Eternal Lord, afterwards made, the earth for men, the Almighty Lord.

Caedmon is considered to be the first English poet. The theme in the hymn, or song of praise, is that God created the heavens and the earth for the enjoyment of men.

Caedmon praises God for His creation. Using repetition, he points out twice that God, unlike man, is eternal. In a fairly pagan Celtic atmosphere, we see some of the earliest influences of Christianity.

As the story goes, he was once visiting a nearby monastery listening to the monks singing and playing music. When the harp was passed to him, he became embarrassed and left. That night, he was visited by a heavenly being who instructed him to sing of the First Creation. The hymn he sang praises God for His creation of the heavens and the earth.

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C├Ždmon's Hymn

The hymn itself was composed in the mid- or late-7th century and so is the earliest surviving Old English poem. Bede records that Caedmon was an illiterate farmer working for a monastery who at first avoided singing. The generic scene described does sound like a mead-hall revel. According the the legend, Caedmon had a mystical experience in his cattle shed in which he was given a calling to sing: first, about Creation. The hymn well represents Old English poetry, with its lines of four stresses and a medial caesura, with its two or three alliterations per line, with the stacking up of epithets God is guardian, measurer, lord, creator, master. And the reference to "heaven as a roof" may evoke the security of identity with an implicit comparison to the enclosure of the mead-hall. Just like Hildegard of Bingen because of her visions manifested in the arts, Caedmon must appear before "learned men so that they might judge what the nature of that vision was and where it came from"


Caedmon's Hymn - Poem by Caedmon

Um sicher zu sein, trug sie ihm auf, ein weiteres Gedicht zu schreiben. Kapitel 25 des IV. Die Versus de Poeta schildern diesen Traum detaillierter; demnach war der Dichter vor seiner Berufung ein Hirte; die Vision ereilte ihn, als er eines Abends nach getaner Arbeit einschlief. Diese beiden Texte sind nur in einer Ausgabe des Matthias Flacius aus dem Jahrhundert, verfasst wurden. Von diesem Werk sind nur die ersten neun Zeilen seines Erstlingswerks erhalten, also des Gedichts, das zu schreiben ihm in seinem Traum aufgetragen wurde.

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