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Psalm-Poem and Psalter-Glosses

The Latin and Old English Psalter-Text Background to «Kentish Psalm 50»


Sarah Larratt Keefer

This comprehensive study explores the relationship between Old English translations of Latin psalters and a unique Old English verse paraphrase of psalm 50 containing Latin psalm-verses in its text. A date and place of composition for the «Kentish Psalm 50» can be proposed by comparing it with the vernacular vocabulary of the glossed psalter versions of psalm 50. Discussion of the Latin psalter-texts of psalm 50, the poem in its manuscript, the liturgical tradition of penance behind this psalm, and the lexical comparison present new insight into the writing of liturgical verse like «Kentish Psalm 50».
Contents: The composition of «Kentish Psalm 50» is explored by comparing pertinent parts of its Latin and Old English vocabulary with the text and lexicon found in the extant English glossed psalters.