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CÆDMON (Caedmon), the earliest English Christian poet. His story, and even his very name, are known to us only from Bæda (Hist. Eccl. iv. 24). An Anglo-Saxon who cared for the animals at the double monastery of Streonæshalch (Whitby Abbey ) during the abbacy (657–680) of St. Hilda (614–680), he was originally ignorant of "the art of song" but learned to compose one night in the course of a dream, according to the 8th-century monk Bede.
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