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The Tremulous Soul: The Worcester Fragments

The Tremulous Soul: The Worcester Fragments

(p.45) Chapter Three The Tremulous Soul: The Worcester Fragments
Arts of Dying
D. Vance Smith
University of Chicago Press

The twelfth-century scholar known as the Tremulous Hand of Worcester who glossed Aelfric's Grammar also copied St. Bede's Lament, a poem about the loss of learning, and an early Middle English debate between the body and the soul (The Soul's Address to the Body). The body is silent, but the soul's speech is nevertheless shaped by its actions in life; death is the speaking of sin, and the poem's language is characteristic of late style, a form of literature charged with regret for a past that remains but should nevertheless have been different.

Keywords:   Tremulous Hand of Worcester, St. Bede's Lament, The Soul's Address to the Body, Worcester Fragments, late style

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