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Therefore, never is their strife

After those true joys to spur;
In this lean and little life
They half witted deeply err,

Seeking here their bliss to gain,
That is, God Himself, in vain.

Ah! I know not in my thought

How enough to blame their sin,
Nor so clearly as I ought
Can I show their fault within ;

For, more bad and vain are they
And more sad than I can say.

All their hope is to acquire

Worship, goods, and worldly weal;
When they have their mind's desire,
Then such witless Joy they feel,

That in folly they believe
Those True joys they then receive.

Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs, of thistles ?” Alfred is of the Wise Teacher's school : and bids us seek the chief good beyond this evil world.



O qui perpetua mundum ratione gubernas, Terrarum cælique sator, qui tempus ab ævo

Eala min Drihten !
Thæt thu eartælmihtig,
Micel modilic,

Mærthum gefraege,
And wundorlic,
Witena gehwylcum !


Hwaet thu ece God!
Ealra gesceafta
Wel gesceope,

And eac swa same,
Softe wealdest
Scirra gesceafta,

Mid gesceadwisum
Mægne and cræfte.
Thu thysne middan geard
From fruman ærest,
Forth oth ende,

Tidum todældes,
Swa hit getæsost was
Endebyrdes :
That hi æghwæther
Ge arfarath

Ge estcumath.
Thu the unstilla
Agna gesceafta
To thinum willan
Wislice astyrest,

And the self wunæst
Swithe stille,
A forth simle!
Nis nan mihtigra,

Ne nan mærra,
Ne geond ealle tha gesceaft,
Efnlica thin.
Ne the aenig ned-thearf naes
Æfre giet ealra

Thara weorca,
The thu geworht hafast ;
Ac mid thinum willan
Thu hit worhtes eall.
And mid anwalde

Thinum agenum,
Weorulde geworhtest,
And wuhta gehwæt;
Theah the nænegu
Ned-thearf wäre eallra 50
Thara mærtha !
Is thaet micel gecynd
Thines goodes ;
Thencth ymb se the wile :
Forthon hit is eall an

Ælces thincges,
Thu and thæt thin good ;
Hit is thin agen,
Forthæm hit nis utan,
Ne com auht to the.

Ac ic georne wat,
That thin goodnes is
Ælmihtig good,
Eall mid the selfum.
Hit is ungelic

Urum gecynde :
Us is utan cymen
Eall the we habbath
Gooda on grundum,
From Gode selfum.

Neft thu to negum
Andan genumenne,
Fortham the nan thing nis
Thin gelica;
Ne huru ænig

Forthæm thu eal good,
Anes getheahte,
Thines gethohtest,
And hi tha worhtest.

Næs æror the
Ænegu gesceaft,
The auht oththe nauht
Auther worhte.
Ac thu butan bysne,

Brego moncynnes,
Æl ælmihtig God,
Eall geworhtest
Thing, thearle good;
Eart the selfa

Thæt hehste good !
Hwt thu halig feder,
Æfter thinum willan,
Woruld gesceope,
Thisne middan geard,

Meahtum thinum.

Weorada Drihten,
Swa thu woldest self:
And mid thinum willan
Wealdest ealles !

Forthæm thu sotha God,
Selfa dælest
Gooda æghwilc;
Forthæm thu geara ær,
Ealle gesceafta

Ærest gesceope,
Swithe gelice,
Sumes hwæthre theah
Nemdest eall swa theah 110
Mid ane noman,
Ealle togædere,
Woruld under wolcnum.
Hwæt thu wuldres God!
Thone anne naman

Eft todældes,
Fæder, on feower:
Was thara folde an,
And water other,
Worulde dæles,

And fyr is thridde,
And feowerthe lyft;
Thæt is eall weoruld
Eft togædere.
Habbath theah tha feower 125
Frum-stol hiora;
Ængwilc hiora
Agenne stede :
Theah anra hwilc
With other sie

Miclum gemenged;
And mid mægne eac
Fæder ælmihtiges
Fæste gebunden,

Softe togædere,
Mid bebode thine,
Bilewit fæder!
Thæt te heora ænig
Othres ne dorste

Mearc ofergangan,
For metodes ege;
Ac geth weorod sint
Thegnas togædere,
Cyninges cempan.

Cele with hæto,
Wat with drygum,
Winnath hwæthre.
Water and eorthe
Wæstmas brengath;

Tha sint on gecynde
Cealda ba twa.
Water wæt and ceald,
Wangas ymbe-licgath.
Eorthe æl greno

Eac hwæthre ceald lyft
Is gemenged,
Forthæm hio on middum wunath
Nis thaet nan wundor
Thaet hio sie wearm and ceald 160
Wat wolcnes tier
Winde geblonden;
Forthæm bio is on midle,
Mine gefræge,
Fyres and eorthan.

Fela monna wat
Thæt te yfemest is
Eallra gesceafta
Fyr ofer eorthan,
Folde neothemest.

Is thaet wundorlic,
Weroda Drihten !
Thæt thu mid getheahte
Thinum wyrcest;
Thaet thu thaem gesceaftum 175
Swa gesceadlice
Mearce gesettest,
And hi ne mengdest eac.
Hwet thu thaem wttere
Watum and cealdum, 180
Foldan to flore
Fæste gesettest;
Forthæm hit unstille,
Æghwider wolde
Wide toscrithan,

185 Wac and hnesce;

Ne meahte hit on him selfum.
Soth ic geare wat
Æfre gestandan :
Ac hit sio eorthe

Hilt and swelgeth eac.
Be sumum dæle,
That hio siththan mæg,
For thæm sy pe weorthan
Geleht lyftun.

195 Forthæm leaf and gærs, Braed geond Bretene, Bloweth and groweth, Eldum to are. Eorthe sio cealde

200 Brength waestma fela, Wundorlicra, Forthaem hio mid thaem waetere Weorthath gethawened. Gif thaet nære,

205 Thonne hio wäre Fordrugod to duste, And todrien siththan Wide mid winde; Swa nu weorthath oft 210 Axe giond eorthan Eall toblawen. Ne neahte on thaere eorthan Awuht libban, Ne wuhte thon ma

215 Wætres brucan, Oneardian Ænige cræfte, For cele anum: Gif thu, cyning engla, 220 With fyre hwæt-hwugu, Foldan and lagu-sream Ne mengdest togædere; And gemetgodest Cele and hæto

225 Cræfte thine, Thaet thaet fyr ne maeg Foldan and mere-stream Blate forbærnan, Theah hit with ba twa sie 230 Fæste gefeged ; Fæder eald geweorc. Ne thincth me that wundur Wuhte the læsse, Thæt thios eorthe maeg,

235 And egor-stream, Swa ceald gesceaft, Cræfta nane, Ealles adwæscan That thaet him on innan sticath Fyres, gefeged

241 Mid frean cræste. That is agen craft Eagor-streames, Wætres and eorthan,

245 And on wolcnum eac, And efne swa same Uppe ofer rodere. Thonne is thær fyres Frum-stol on riht Eard ofer eallum Othrum gesceastum Gesewenlicum, Geond thisne sidan grund; Theah hit with ealle sie 255 Eft gemenged Weoruld-gesceafta: Theah waldan ne mot, That hit ænige Eallunga fordo

Buton thæs leafe,
The us this lif tiode:
That is se eca,
And se ælmihtiga.
Eorthe is hefigre

Othrum gesceaftum,
Thicre gethruen;
Forthæm hio thrage stod
Ealra gesceafta
Under nithemæst,

Buton thæm rodere,
The thas ruman gesceast
Æghwylce dæge,
Utan ymhwyrfeth,
And theah thare corthan 275

Æfre ne othrineth ;
Ne hire on nanre ne mot
Near thonne on othre
Stowe gestæppan.
Striceth ymbutan

Ufane and neothane,
Efen neah gehwæther.
Æghwilc gesceait,
The we ymb sprecath,
Hæfth his agenne

Eard on sundran,
Bith theah with thaem othrum
Eac gemenged.
Ne maeg hira aenig
Butan othrum bion.

Theah hi unsweotole
Somod eardien;
Swa nu eorthe and water
Eariod tæcne,
Unwisra gehwæm,

Wuniath on fyre ;
Theah hi sint an
Sweotole thæm wisum.
Is thaet fyr swa same
Fæst on thæm watre,

And on stanum eac
Stille geheded :
Earfoth hawe is.
Hwæthre thær hafath
Fæder engla

Fyr gebunden
Efne to thon fæste,
That hit fiolan ne mæg
Eft aet his ethle,
Thaer thaet other fyr

Up ofer eall this
Eard faest wunath.
Sona hit forlaeteth
Thas laenan gesceaft,
Mid cele ofercumen,

Gif hit on cyththe gewit ;
And theah wuhta geh wilc
Wilnath thider-weard,
Thaer his maegthe bith
Maest aetgaedre.

Thu gestatholadest,
Thurh tha strongan meaht,
Weroda wuldor cyning!
Eorthan swa faeste,

Thaet hio on ænige
Healfe ne heldeth,
Ne mæg hio hider ne thider
Sigan the swithor
The hio symile dyde.

Hwæt hi iheah eorthlices
Auht ne heldeth,
Is theah ein ethe
Up and of dune,
To feallanne

Foldan thisse;
Tham anlicost,
The on æge bith
Gioleca on middan,
Glideth hwæthre

Swa stent eall weoruld
Stille on tille,
Streamas ymbutan,
Lagu-floda gelac.

Lyfte and tungla,
And sio scire scell,
Scritheth ymbutan,
Dogora geh wilc,
Dyde lange swa.

Hwæt thu thioda God,
Thriefalde on us
Sawle gesettest,
And hi siththan eac
Styrest and tihtest,

Thurh tha strongan meaht;
Thaet hire thy læsse
On thæm lytlan ne bith
Anum fingre,
The hire on eallum bith 360
Tham lichoman,
Forthæm ic lytle ær,
Sweotole sæde,
That sio sawl were


Thriefald gesceaft,

Thegna geh wilces :
Forthæm uthwitan
Ealle seggath,
Thæt te an gecynd
Ælcre saule

Yrsung wære,
Other wilnung;
Is sio thridde gecynd
Thaem twaem betere,
Sio gescead wisnes.

Nis thaet scandlic craeft,
Forthaem hit naenig hafath,
Neat buton monnum.
Haesth tha othra twa
Unrim wuhta.

Hæfth tha wilnunga
Wel hwilc neten,
And tha yrsunga
Eac swa selfe.
For thy men habbæth

Geond middan geard,
Ealle oferthungen;
Forthæm the hi habbath
Thæs the hi nabbath, 390
Thone ænne craft
The we ær nemdon,
Sio gesceadwisnes
Sceal on gehwelcum
Thære wilnunge

Waldan semle,
And irsunge
Eac swa selfe.
Hio sceal mid getheahte,
Thegnes mode,

Mid andgite
Ealles waldan
Hio is that mæste mægen
Monnes saule,
And se selesta

Sundor cræfta
Hwæt thu tha saule,
Sigora waldend,
Theoda thrym-cyning,
Thus gesceope,

Thæt hio hwearfode
On hire selfre,
Hire utan ymb,
Swa swa eal deth
Rine swifte rodor:

Recene ymbscritheth
Dogora geh wilce,
Drihtnes meahtum
Thisne middan geard :
Swa deth monnes saul,

Hweole gelicost,
Hwærseth ymbe hy selfe,
Oft smeagende
Ymb thas eorthlican
Drihtnes gesceasta,

Dagum and nihtum.
Hwilum hi selle
Secende smeath
Hwilum eft smeath
Ymb thone ecan God, 430
Sceppend hire ;
Scrithende farth
Hweole gelicost,
Hwærfth ymb hi selfe.
Thonne hio ymb hire scyppend 435
Mid gesceаd smeath,
Hio bith upahafen
Ofer hi selfe ;
Ac hio bith eallunga
An bire selfre

Thonne hio ymb hi selfe
Secende smeath.
Hio bith swithe fior
Hire selfre beneothan,
Thonne hio thæs lænan

Lufath and wundrath
Eorthlicu thing,
Ofer ecne ræd.
Hwæt thu ece God,
Eard forgeafe

Saulum on heofonum;
Selest weorthlica
Ginfæsta gifa,

God ælmihtig!
Be ge earnunga

Anra gehwelcre.
Ealle hi scinath
Thurh tha sciran neaht
Hadre on heofenum ;
Na hwæthre theah

Ealle efenbeorhte.
Hwæt we oft gesioth
Hadrum nihtum,
Thæt te heoson-steorran
Ealle efenbeorhte,

Æfre ne scinath.
Hwæt thu ece God,
Eac gemengest
Tha heofoncundan
Hither with eorthan;

Saula with lice
Siththan wuniath:
This eorthlice
And thæt ece samod,
Saul in flæsce.

Hwæt hi simle to the
Hiona fundiath,
Forthæm hi hider of the
Eror comon ;
Sculon eft to the.

Sceal se lichama
Last weardigan
Eft on eorthan,
Forthæm he ær of hire
Weox on weorulde.

Wunedon æt somne
Efen swa lange
Swa him lyfed wæs
From tham almihtigan,
The hi æror gio

That is soth cyning,
Se thas foldan gesceop,
And hi gifylde tha
Swithe mislicum

Mine gefræge,
Neata cynnum,
Nergend user.
He hi siththan asiow
Sæda monegum

Wuda and wyrta,
Weorulde sceatum.
Forgif nu ece God,
Urum modum,
Thæt hi moten to the,

Metod alwuhta,
Thurh thas earfothu
Up astigan:
And of thisum by segum,
Bilewit fæder,

Theoda waldend,
To the cuman ;
And thonne mid openum
Eagum moten
Modes ures,

Thurh thinra mægna sped,
Æwelm gesion
Eallra gooda;
Thæt thu eart selfa,
Sige Drihten God!

Ge tha eagan hal
Ures modes,
That we hi on the selfum
Siththan moten

Fæder engla!
Todrif thone thiccan mist,

"he thrage nu
With tha eagan foran
Usses modes

Hangode hwyle,
Hefig and thystre.
Onliht nu tha eagan
Usses modes
Mid thinum leohte,

Lifes waldend;
Porthæm thu eart sio birhtu,
Bilewit fæder,
Sothes leohtes :
And thu selfa eart

Sio fæste rest,
Fæder ælmihtig!

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O thou, my Lord Almighty, great and wise,
Wellseen for mighty works, and marvellous
To every mind that knows thee, Ever Good!
Wondrously well all creatures Thou hast made,
Unseen of us or seen; with softest band
Of skilful strength thy brighter beings leading,
Thou from its birth forth onward to its end
This middle earth by times hast measured out
As was most fit ; that orderly they go

And eftsoon come again. Thou wisely stirrest
To thine own will thy changing unstill creatures,
Unchangeable and still thyself for ever!
No one is mightier, greater than Thou art,
No one was made thine equal : need was none,
Of all these works which thou hast wrought, to Thee;
But, at the willing of thy power, the world
And everything within it didst thou make,
Without all need to Thee of such great works,
Great is thy goodness,-think it out who will ;
For it is all of one, in everything,
Thou and Thy good; thine own; not from without,
Neither did any goodness come to Thee :
But, well I know, thy goodness is Most Good
All with thyself : unlike to us in kind ;
To us, from outwardly, from God himself,
Came all we have of good in this low earth.
Thou canst not envy any; since to Thee
Nothing is like, nor any higher skilled ;
For thou, All good, of thine own thought didst think,
And then that thought didst work. Before Thee none
Was born, to make or unmake anything,
But Thou without a model madest all,
Lord God of men, Almighty, very good,


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