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DEVELOPMENT OF VERSIFICATION. 257
from this poem some idea may be formed of the language and verse under consideration :—
In the first period of our literature, from A.D. 600 to 1066, which is known as Anglo-Saxon, the chief poetical compositions, all of which were upon the model described above, are as follows :—
(i) Fragments of Gleemen's Songs, sung by wandering minstrels, who seem to have been true Bohemians, from warnings issued to the clergy against them by King Edgar.
(ii) The Deeds of Beowulf\ an epic of some five thousand lines. It was probably written in detached odes in the fifth century, prior to the conquest of Britain, and afterwards wrought into the form that has come down to us, with the Christian element introduced about the eighth century.
(iii) Caedman's metrical version of parts of the Old and New Testament history, 670. This is the first native-born poem in the language. Bede says of it, that all who heard it recited thought it was divinely given.
(iv) A fragment of the story of Judith and Ilolofcrncs, from the Apocrypha.