(657 – 684)
Ashamed to be without a song to share
With men more talented apparently,
The herdsman left the monks in revelry
And went to sleep with creatures in his care.
That very night he was commanded in
A dream to sing of how the world began;
At first he balked and said, “I doubt I can,”
But inspiration led to discipline.
The morning brought improvements to the hymn,
So he was taken to superiors,
The abbess Hilda and her counselors,
Who recognized his effort was no whim.
Taught sacred matters, he turned them to verse:
Vernacular, it was, and not for worse.