Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader/Cædmon's Genesis: The Offering of Issac

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Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader by James W. Bright
Cædmon's Genesis: The Offering of Issac

[From the Genesis attributed to Cædmon, preserved in MS. Junius XI of the Bodleian Library.]

Þā þæs rinces   sē rīca ongan
Cyning costigan,   cunnode georne
hwilc þæs æðelinges   ellen wǣre,
stīðum wordum   spræc him stefne tō:

'Gewit þū ofestlīce,   Abraham, fēran,
lāstas lecgan   and þē lǣde mid
þīn āgen bearn;   þū scealt Īsaac mē
onsecgan, sunu þīnne,   sylf tō tībre!
Siððan þū gestīgest   stēape dūne,

hrincg þæs hēan landes,   þe ic þē heonon getǣce,
ūp þīnum āgnum fōtum,   þǣr þū scealt ād gegærwan,
bǣlfȳr bearne ðīnum,   and blōtan sylf
sunu mid sweordes ecge,   and ðonne sweartan līge
lēofes līc forbærnan   and mē lāc bebēodan.'

Ne forsæt hē þȳ siðe,   ac sōna ongann
fȳsan tō fōre:   him wæs Frēan engla
word ondrysne,   and his Waldend lēof.
Ðā sē ēadga   Abraham sīne
nihtreste ofgeaf:   nālles Nergendes

hǣse wiðhogode,   ac hine sē hālga wer
gyrde grǣgan sweorde,   cȳðde ðæt him gāsta Weardes
egesa on brēostum wunode.   Ongan ðā his esolas bǣtan,
gamolferhð goldes brytta,   heht hine geonge twēgen
men mid sīðian;   mǣg wæs his āgen þridda

and hē fēorða sylf.   Þā hē fūs gewāt
from his āgenum hofe   Īsaac lǣdan,
bearn unweaxen,   swā him bēbēad Metod.
Efste ðā swīðe   and ōnette
forð foldwege,   swā him Frēa tǣhte

wegas ofer wēsten,   oð þæt wuldortorht,
dæges þriddan ūp   ofer dēop wæter
ord ārǣmde.   Þā sē ēadega wer
geseah hlīfigan   hēa dūne
swā him sægde ǣr   swegles Aldor.

Þā Abraham spræc   tō his ombihtum,
'Rincas mīne,   restað incit hēr
on ðissum wīcum;   wit eft cumað,
siððan wit ǣrende   uncer twēga
Gāstcyninge   āgifen habbað.'

Gewāt him þā sē æðeling,   and his āgen sunu,
tō þæs gemearces   þe him Metod tǣhte,
wadan ofer wealdas;   wudu bær sunu,
fæder fȳr and sweord.   Þā ðæs fricgean ongann
wer wintrum geong   wordum Abraham:

'Wit hēr fȳr and sweord,   frēa mīn, habbað;
hwǣr is þæt tīber,   þæt þū torht Gode
tō þām brynegielde   bringan þencest?'
Abraham maðelode   (hæfde on ān gehogod
þæt hē gedǣde   swā hine Drihten hēt):

'Him þæt Sōðcyning   sylfa findeð,
moncynnes Weard,   swā him gemet þinceð.'
Gestāh þā stīðhȳdig   stēape dūne
ūp mid his eaforan,   swā him sē ēca bēbēad,
þæt hē on hrōfe gestōd   hēan landes,

on þǣre [stōwe]   þe him sē stranga tō,
wǣrfæst Metod,   wordum tǣhte.
Ongan þā ād hladan,   ǣled weccan,
and gefeterode   fēt and honda
bearne sīnum   and þā on bǣl āhōf

Īsaac geongne,   and þā ǣdre gegrāp
sweord be gehiltum:   wolde his sunu cwellan
folmum sīnum,   fȳre scencan
mǣges drēore.   Þā Metodes ðegn,
ufan engla sum,   Abraham hlūde

stefne cȳgde.   Hē stille gebād
āres sprǣce   and þām engle oncwæð.
Him ðā ofstum tō,   ufan of roderum
wuldorgāst Godes   wordum mǣlde:
'Abraham lēofa,   ne sleah þīn āgen bearn,

ac þū cwicne ābregd   cniht of āde,
eaforan þīnne:   him an wuldres God.
Mago Ebrēa,   þū mēdum scealt
þurh þæs hālgan hand,   Heofoncyninges,
sōðum sigorlēanum   selfa onfōn,

ginfæstum gifum.   þe wile gāsta Weard
lissum gyldan   þæt þē wæs lēofre his
sibb and hyldo   þonne þīn sylfes bearn.'
Ād stōd onǣled;   hæfde Abrahame
Metod moncynnes,   mǣge Lōthes,

brēost geblissad,   þā hē him his bearn forgeaf,
Īsaac cwicne.   Þā sē ēadega bewlāt,
rinc ofer exle,   and him ðǣr rom geseah
unfeor ðanon,   ǣnne standan,
brōðor Arōnes,   brembrum fæstne;

þone Abraham genam,   and hine on ad āhōf
ofestum miclum,   for his āgen bearn.
Ābrægd ðā mid ðȳ bille,   brynegield onhrēad,
rēocendne wēg   rommes blōde,
onblēot þæt lāc Gode,   sægde lēana þanc
and ealra þāra [sælða]   þe hē him sīð and ǣr
gifena Drihten,   forgifen hæfde.