Hymns and Poems
In Bede's list of his works, he describes a book of hymns: "Librum hymnorum diverso metro sive rhythmo" and a book of poems: "Librum epigrammatum heroico metro sive elegiaco". Although manuscripts by these names survived to the 15th century, none are extant today. However, some of Bede's verse was transmitted through other manuscripts. In addition, Bede included poems in several of his prose works, and these have occasionally been copied separately and thus transmitted independently of their parent work.
Only one hymn is definitely by Bede; his Hymn on Queen Etheldryd, which is part of his Historia Ecclesiastica but which appears independently in some manuscripts. An additional fifteen hymns are thought to be of Bede's composition. Thirteen of these now survive only in a 16th-century printed edition; two further hymns, on psalms XLI and CXXII, have survived in manuscript form.
De die iudicii
The poem De die iudicii is assigned to Bede by most scholars.
Bede refers to a book of epigrams; the work is not entirely lost but has survived only in fragments. In the early 16th century, the antiquary John Leland transcribed a selection of epigrams from a now-lost manuscript; his selection includes several epigrams attributed to Bede which are likely to have come from the book Bede refers to. Leland's source was originally owned by Milred, bishop of Worcester from 745 to 775. Historian Michael Lapidge suggests that Milred's collection of epigrams was assembled early in Milred's tenure as bishop, perhaps in about 750.
Other poems The only other surviving poem of Bede's that is not part of one of Bede's prose works is a prayer in thirteen elegiac couplets which survives in a tenth-century manuscript in garbled form; it was first printed correctly in 1912.
Famous quotes containing the words hymns and, poems and/or hymns:
“So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
—Bible: New Testament, Ephesians 5:17-20.
“I try to make a rough music, a dance of the mind, a calculus of the emotions, a driving beat of praise out of the pain and mystery that surround me and become me. My poems are meant to make your mind get up and shout.”
—Judith Johnson Sherwin (b. 1936)
“Whether, if you yield not to your fathers choice,
You can endure the livery of a nun,
For aye to be in shady cloister mewed,
To live a barren sister all your life,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
Thrice blessed they that master so their blood
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)