I set myself to sing of the madness of the bard of prophecy, an entertaining tale of Merlin. Guide my pen, Robert, glory of the bishops; for we know that Philosophy has filled you with its holy nectar and made you universally learned, so that you might prove yourself the foremost teacher in the world.

Approve, then, my project, and be ready to be more indulgent to this poet than was that other whom you have just succeeded, attaining an honour well-deserved. Everything conspired to win that honour for you--your principles, your upright way of life, your birth, your fitness for the place: clergy and people alike supported you. That is why lucky Lincoln is now in the seventh heaven.

Indeed, it might well have been yourself whom I would wish to embrace in a noble poem. But I am not the man for it: no, not even if Orpheus and Camerinus and Macer and Marius and Rabirius of the great voice were all to sing through my mouth and the Muses were my accompanists. But, Sisters, you are used to singing with me; so let us to the song before us. Sound the lyre!

On to Vita Merlini 2

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