Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/61

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liii
THE LIFE OF BEDE.

ness of breath, yet without pain, before the day of our Lord's resurrection, that is, about a fortnight; and thus he afterwards passed his life, cheerful and rejoicing, giving thanks to Almighty God every day and night, nay, every hour, till the day of our Lord's Ascension, that is, the seventh of the Calends of June [twenty-sixth of May] and daily read lessons to us his disciples, and whatever remained of the day, he spent in singing psalms; he also passed all the night awake, in joy and thanksgiving, unless a short sleep prevented it; in which case he no sooner awoke than he presently repeated his wonted exercises, and ceased not to give thanks to God with uplifted hands. I declare with truth, that I have never seen with my eyes, nor heard with my ears, any man so earnest in giving thanks to the Living God.

"O truly happy man! He chanted the sentence of St. Paul the Apostle, It is dreadful to fall into the hands of the Living God, and much more out of Holy Writ; wherein also he admonished us to think of our last hour, and to shake off the sleep of the soul; and being learned in our poetry, he said some things also in our tongue, for he said, putting the same into English,

"For tham neod-fere
Nenig wyrtheth
Thances snottra
Thonne him thearf sy
To gehiggene

Ær his heonen-gange
Hwet his gaste
Godes oththe yveles
Æfter deathe heonen
Demed vvurthe."

which means this:—