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"What is rigid gently bend"


“What is rigid gently bend”, said my English friend as we drove to the home of a friend who had broken her pelvis.

Val was quoting from John Mason Neale, who translated and adapted more than one hundred medieval hymns into English in the 19th century. They remain popular. The one I like best is Good King Wenceslas.

The lines that Val quoted came from Neale's translation of the hymn that David and I believe was written by Stephen Langton, the great (and greatly underrated) leader who inspired Magna Carta.

What is rigid gently bend,
What is frozen warmly tend.

I thought you might like to see the whole thing, and added Neale's translation to Langton's Golden Sequence.