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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

On the Saints of the Church at York

By Alcuin (735–804)

From Andrew Fleming West’s ‘Alcuin, and the Rise of the Christian Schools’

THERE the Eboric scholars felt the rule

Of Master Ælbert, teaching in the school.

Their thirsty hearts to gladden well he knew

With doctrine’s stream and learning’s heavenly dew.

To some he made the grammar understood,

And poured on others rhetoric’s copious flood.

The rules of jurisprudence these rehearse,

While those recite in high Eonian verse,

Or play Castalia’s flutes in cadence sweet

And mount Parnassus on swift lyric feet.

Anon the master turns their gaze on high

To view the travailing sun and moon, the sky

In order turning with its planets seven,

And starry hosts that keep the law of heaven.

The storms at sea, the earthquake’s shock, the race

Of men and beasts and flying fowl they trace;

Or to the laws of numbers bend their mind,

And search till Easter’s annual day they find.

Then, last and best, he opened up to view

The depths of Holy Scripture, Old and New.

Was any youth in studies well approved,

Then him the master cherished, taught, and loved;

And thus the double knowledge he conferred

Of liberal studies and the Holy Word.