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Homer, among the Eastern

Eall geondwliteth,
Endemes thurhsyhth
Ealle gesceafta.

Daeth is sio sothe

We magon singan

Swyle butan lease.

Greeks, was erst

The best of bards in all that country-side;
And he was Virgil's friend and teacher first,
To that great minstrel master well allied.

And Homer often greatly praised the sun,
Her highborn worth, her skilfulness most true;
Often by song and story many a one

He to the people sang her praises due.

Yet can she not shine out, tho' clear and bright,
Everywhere near to every thing all ways,
Nor further, can she shed an equal light
Inside and out on all that meet her rays.

But the Almighty Lord of worldly things,
Wielder and Worker, brightly shines above
His own good workmanship, and round all flings
An equal blaze of skilfulness and love!

That is the true Sun, whom we rightly may
Sing without leasing as the Lord of Day.

Alfred is here commonly accused of an anachronism: but really without any cause. Was not Homer in spirit the friend and teacher of the Roman Epic Poet? if the Iliad had never existed, should we ever have heard of the Eneid ?-No:-let us vindicate

the self-taught Anglo-Saxon even here; and not cease further to admire how he brings all his knowledge to the footstool of his God.

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Yet more, thou mayst know,

If it list thee to mind,

That many things go

Over earth in their kind,
Unlike to the view

In shape as in hue.

Known or unknown

Some forms of them all On earth lying prone Must creep and must crawl; By feathers help'd not,

Nor walking with feet, As it is their lot

Earth they must eat.

Twofooted these,
Fourfooted those,
Each one with ease

Its going wellknows,
Some flying high
Under the sky.

Yet to this earth

Is everything bound, Bowed from its birth

Down to the ground, Looking on clay

And leaning to dust, Some as they may

And some as they must. Man alone goes

Of all things upright,— Whereby he shows

That his mind and his might

Ever should rise

Up to the skies.

Unless like the beast

His mind is intent Downwards to feast,It cannot be meant

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This ends the list of the metrical paraphrases of Boethius, as given by King Alfred. A few of the odes were omitted by him,— probably from want of leisure to set them to music: but in the prose version of Boethius we shall probably find all such deficiencies supplied. Meanwhile, to make an end. The writer is more humbly aware than the severest possible critic would wish to make him, how little light he, for his part, has been able to throw upon Anglo-Saxon Metre in general. The fact seems to him to be, that there must have been supplied a running harp accompaniment which, with vocal adlibita also, made up the rhythm and possibly now and then the echoing rhyme, of the words as downwritten. Take any modern oratorio, and judge how little we can guess its melodies from the mere words. There would be naturally very little to guide us in words alone, if we remember that poetry in those early times of our tongue was far more the harper's craft than the scribe's. At the same time the present writer has so varied his measures (more often than Boethius) that, even be it but by chance, he may have lighted now and then on some approximation in English to the ancient poetry of the Anglo-Saxons.




At Shifford many thanes were set;
There book-learned bishops met,
Earls and knights, all awsome men,
And Alfric, wise in lawsome ken:

• We have to add the interesting fragment here appended: the authorship is disputable; but there is no doubt that it is a genuine echo of the words of Alfred, especially the latter part, the beautiful pathos of which, as addressed by the dying Alfred to his son and successor

Essa s


There too England's own darling,
England's shepherd, England's king,
Alfred! them he truly taught
To live in duty as they ought.

Alfred, England's king and clerk,
Well he loved God's holy work:
Wise was he and choice in speech,
First of England skill'd to teach.

Thus quoth Alfred, England's love,
"Would ye live for God above?
"Would ye long that He may show
"Wiselike things for you to know,
"That you may world's worship gain,
"And your souls to Christ attain?"
Wise the sayings Alfred said;
"Christ the Lord I bid thee dread;


Meekly, O mine own dear friend,
"Love and like him without end;
"He is Lord of life and love,
"Blest all other bliss above,
"He is Man, our Father true,
"And a meek mild Master too;
"Yea, our brother; yea, our king;
"Wise and rich in every thing,
"So that nought of His good will
"Shall be aught but pleasure still
"To the man who Him with fear
"In the world doth worship here."
Thus quoth Alfred, our delight;
"He may be no king of right

"Under Christ, who is not fill'd

"With book lore, in law wellskill'd;

"Letters he must understand,

"And know by what he holds his land."

Edward the Elder, is truly affecting. The Anglo-Saxon of this fragment has come down to us in a much more modern form, and is therefore not given here. The antiquary will hereafter find it among the original texts.

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Thus quoth Alfred: "Wealth is but a curse, "If wisdom be not added to the purse.


Though a man hold an hundred and threescore

Acres of tilth, with gold all covered o'er

"Like growing corn,-it all is nothing worth, "Unless it prove his Friend, not Foe, on earth. "For wherein, saving for good use alone, "Does gold-ore differ from a simple stone?"

Thus quoth Alfred: "Never let the young


Despair of good, nor give himself to wrong,

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