Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ETHELWALD, FR. METRICAL HISTORY OF ST. CUTHBERT, by BEDE

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First Line: Between two comrades dear
Last Line: Proclaim them far and wide.
Alternate Author Name(s): The Venerable Bede (beda)
Subject(s): Ethelwold. Bishop (908-084); Ethelwald; Aethelwold

BETWEEN two comrades dear,
Zealous and true as they,
Thou, prudent Ethelwald, didst bear
In that high home the sway.

A man, who ne'er, 'tis said,
Would of his graces tell,
Or with what arms he triumphed
Over the Dragon fell.

So down to us hath come
A memorable word,
Which in unguarded season from
His blessed lips was heard.

It chanced, that, as the Saint
Drank in with faithful ear
Of Angel tones the whispers faint,
Thus spoke a brother dear:

"Oh, why so many a pause,
Thwarting thy words' full stream,
Till her dark line Oblivion draws
Across the broken theme?"

He answered: "Till thou seal
To sounds of earth thine ear,
Sweet friend, be sure thou ne'er shalt feel
Angelic voices near."

But then the hermit blest
A sudden change came o'er;
He shudders, sobs, and smites his breast,
Is mute, then speaks once more:

"Oh, by the Name Most High,
What I have now let fall,
Hush, till I lay me down to die,
And go the way of all!"

Thus did a Saint in fear
His gifts celestial hide;
Thus did an Angel standing near
Proclaim them far and wide.

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