Thursday, 17 January 2013

Cedmon (caedmon)


“The old Brigantes from our bosky brooks
And heather-covered hills far were driven;
The Roman legions had been call’d away
From Britain’s isle, to cross their swords with men
Who, rear’d in savage wilds, had over-run 5
Fair Italy, and sought to rule the world;
The hardy Saxons, from Teutonic woods,
Had made our shores their own, and fixed their feet
So firmly on the sod, that nought could shake
Their footsteps from our soil; when he arose, 10
Cedmon, the humble herdsman of the swine
That fed on mast of Cleveland’s oaks and beeches,
Or tended beeves that then were wont to graze
In Cleveland’s pastures. He heard old ocean
Dash his wild waves in fury at his feet 15
Of Cleveland’s Iron cliffs, and saw them foam
As if with rage,—anon lie sleeping on
Our silver sands, their motion as serene
As maiden’s breasts, which merely heave with breathing;
He saw the morning sun rise in its beauty, 20
Shine in its glory, and in splendour set;
The moon and stars for him adorn’d the night,
As they had done for Homer; flowers came forth
In all their rustic beauty at his feet;
And birds and bees made music for his ears; 25
And he became—a poet!”

George Markham Tweddell  as (Peter Proletarius)

From [Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham p. 21, under ‘Peter Proletarius’]
Written to introduce a chapter on Caedmon.

Here is a link to a downloadable original copy of  Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham 1872 by George Markham Tweddell in which you'll find the first chapter is about Caedmon.

Following on from Tweddell's history of Cleveland's bards and authors, William Hall Burnett (poet and editor of the (Middlesbrough) Daily Exchange included a chapter on Caedmon in his book Old Cleveland (Local Writers and Local Worthies) 1886 - downloadable here

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