Garden bouquet, picked for a friend this week: Heather, Viburnum, Pieris Japonica, Sword Fern
Light was first
Through the Lord’s
word Named day:
Beauteous, bright creation! ~ St. Caedmon
Greetings on St. Caedmon’s Day!
This 7th century British Saint heard angels sing, and recorded their heavenly hymn which became the earliest English poem in existence!
Previous Blisswood post shows the ruins of the ancient Whitby monastery where St. Caedmon lived.
After reading St. Caedmon’s Hymn from these Latin, Moore/Leningrad Northumbrian Dialects/Bodleian West Saxon sources and translations – this poem achingly called to me, asking to be adapted further.
I translated it into a more contemporary old English and put my adaptation to the ancient melody of the 13th century Byzantine Hymn: Defte Lai.
My version of St. Caedmon’s Hymn with Sheet music here.
Below is my version of St. Caedmon’s Creation Hymn, rusticly sung and recorded, accompanied by my faux-lyre (ukulele) using the chords: Fm; Cm; and B♭m.
Come magnify Him,
Creator of the firmament,
Author of each and all,
And glorify His purpose;
Come and honour Him,
Protector of Fair Paradise,
Holy, Mighty, Immortal,
Father of Glory.
Blessed, Timeless, Lord,
Thou hast established Thy wonders,
Before middle earth* was formed,
Or adorned with Thought of Mind;
Lord, God Almighty!
For the sons of men;
Thou formed the Roof of Heaven!
* Middle earth (not just a Tolkien invention)- it means the world, the middle enclosure – which exists between heaven and hell. From Middle English middel-erde, and Old English middangeard.
I’m grateful for the heavenly hymn St. Caedmon has bequeathed to us, and his role in the early English Orthodox church… From his beginnings as a humble shepherd – to his subsequent life as a meek monk in a great, historic, monastery.
When the song of the lips becomes the song of the soul, we’re able to – bit by bit, acquire a small, uplifting, repertoire of prayerful Psalmody from the heart – by singing anytime praises to the Glory of God!