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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Blossom Gatherings from St. Augustine
By Alfred the Great (849–899)
 
IN every tree I saw something there which I needed at home, therefore I advise every one who is able and has many wains, that he trade to the same wood where I cut the stud shafts, and there fetch more for himself and load his wain with fair rods, that he may wind many a neat wall and set many a comely house and build many a fair town of them; and thereby may dwell merrily and softly, so as I now yet have not done. But He who taught me, to whom the wood was agreeable, He may make me to dwell more softly in this temporary cottage, the while that I am in this world, and also in the everlasting home which He has promised us through St. Augustine, and St. Gregory, and St. Jerome, and through other holy fathers; as I believe also that for the merits of all these He will make the way more convenient than it was before, and especially the carrying and the building: but every man wishes after he has built a cottage on his lord’s lease by his help, that he may sometimes rest him therein and hunt, and fowl, and fish, and use it every way under the lease both on water and on land, until the time that he earn book-land and everlasting heritage through his lord’s mercy. So do enlighten the eyes of my mind so that I may search out the right way to the everlasting home and the everlasting glory, and the everlasting rest which is promised us through those holy fathers. May it be so!…  1
  It is no wonder though men swink in timber working, and in the wealthy Giver who wields both these temporary cottages and eternal homes. May He who shaped both and wields both, grant me that I may be meet for each, both here to be profitable and thither to come.  2
 
 
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