Bernard of Cluny
(aka B of Morlaix, Morlass, Morval or Murles), b Morlaix, Brittany, France, early 12th c (c1140), d Cluny, Burgundy, France. Born probably of English parents, he became a monk in the community of Cluny, then led by its reforming 8th Abbot, Peter ‘the Venerable’ (c1092–1156), who translated the Koran into Lat, where Bernard seems to have spent the rest of his life. He was renowned in his day as a preacher and author but is now remembered for his 3000-line poem De Contemptu Mundi (‘On Contempt of the World’), on which more than one hymn has been extracted in translation. It attacked not only the world but the worldliness of the church, and was an extended reminder of the transitory nature of all earthly life. (G Currie Martin, first secretary of the Hymn Society, died at Morlaix in its first year, 1937.) See the notes to no.971.