* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Caedmon's <em>Hymn</em>

Caedmon's Hymn

by Caedmon

Lines 3-4 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 3-4

the work of the Glory-Father,                     when he of wonders of every one,
eternal Lord,                                             the beginning established.

  • …annnd we're still in the same sentence here, but hold tight, because a period is in sight at the end of line 4. The first part of line 3 is another appositive, this time providing a further description of line 2, which told us about God the architect and his "mind-plans." Here Caedmon re-phrases this as "work" and re-titles God as the "Glory-Father," emphasizing that he is the parent of all glory.
  • This becomes important in the rest of lines 3-4 because then we get a mini-description of just how God fathered this glory.
  • The syntax here is a little tricky, so let's break it down. First, eliminate "eternal Lord," another re-titling of God and an appositive of "he" in line 3. That means "eternal Lord" is also the subject. Think back to HP: in the sentence "Harry Potter, the boy wizard, rocks," both "Harry Potter" and "the boy wizard" function as the subject.
  • That leaves us with this: "when he of wonders of every one…the beginning established." Or, in other words: when God established the beginning of every wonder. All of the wonderful things in the universe—the sun, the continents, the herbivores, you name it—have their beginning in God.
  • So, to recap this heckuva sentence from line 1 to line 4, we have: It's time to start praising God, his power and his awesome creative plans, and particularly his work in the universe creating everything from scratch.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement