Ancient English poet

Cædmon (flourished c. 670, said to have died c. 680) is the earliest English poet whose name is known. An Anglo-Saxon herdsman attached to the double monastery of Streonæshalch (Whitby Abbey) during the abbacy of St. Hilda (657 - 680), he was originally ignorant of "the art of song" but supposedly learned to compose one night in the course of a dream. He later became a zealous monk and an accomplished and inspirational religious poet.


  • Light was first
    Through the Lord's word Named day:
    Beauteous, bright creation!
    • Creation. The First Day (c. 670).
  • The fiend with all his comrades
    Fell then from heaven above,
    Through as long as three nights and days,
    The angels from heaven into hell;
    And them all the Lord transformed to devils,
    Because they his deed and word
    Would not revere.
    • Creation: The Fall of the Rebel Angels (c. 670).
  • I am in charity, my children, with all the servants of God.
    • Last words (c.680), reported by Bede.

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