Next to Beowulf, Cædmon's Hymn is probably the most famous poem in Old English, and the fact that Bede admired it heightens its intrinsic interest. The poem, brief as it is, consists of two parts. The first four lines praise God as the originator of all miracles, and the next five relate his creation of heaven and earth:

 Nu scylun hergan  hefaenricaes uard,
 metudæs maecti,  end his modgidanc,
 uerc uuldurfadur—  sue he uundra gihuaes,
 eci dryctin,  or astelidæ!
5 He aerist scop  eordu barnum
 heben til hrofe,  haleg sceppend;
 tha middungeard,  moncynnæs uard,
 eci dryctin,  æfter tiadæ
 firum foldu,  frea allmectig.1
(Now we2 ought to praise the Guardian of the kingdom of heaven, the might of the Ruler and his deliberation, the work[s] of the Father of glory—as he, the eternal Lord, established the beginning of each of miracles. He first created for the children of earth...

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