Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/261

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189
APPENDIX.

their labours,Removal of the body from Lindisfarne and a rest for the saint's corpse in Ireland, particularly as they saw no hope of remaining in any part of their own country. Wherefore they called together the others who were wiser and older than themselves, and the plan obtained the approbation of all of them. "It is evident," said they, "that we are advised to seek a place of repose in a foreign land; for, if such had not been the will of God, and of the saint himself, we should long ago have had a proper place provided for his own sanctity, and for ourselves." Such were their words; but the incomprehensible wisdom of God disposed it otherwise. For when they had come together at the mouth of the river Dyrwent, because the passage to Ireland was easiest and shortest from thence, a vessel was got ready, the holy body was placed on board, the bishop and abbot embarked, together with a few who had been made acquainted with the undertaking, whilst all the others were ignorant of the reason of the voyage. But why do I multiply words? They bade farewell to their friends who were on the shore looking on, and spreading their sails before a favourable wind, turned the ship's head direct for Ireland. What was at that moment, do you suppose, the sorrow of those who remained behind? and what was the lamentation which this sorrow gave birth to? They threw themselves prostrate on the ground, sprinkled their heads with dust, tore their garments, and beat their breasts with stones, and with their fists; and at length broke out altogether into an exclamation of this kind:—"O thou father and patron of ours, how are we abandoned, wretches that we are, as captives to the rage of our enemies, like sheep to be devoured by wolves!" This was all they uttered.

§ 7. On a sudden the wind changed, the waves rose high, and the sea, which was before tranquil, became dark and stormy; the vessel was tossed this way and that way without guidance, and those who were on