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The Hymns of Prudentius
by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius
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THE HYMNS of PRUDENTIUS

TRANSLATED by R. MARTIN POPE.

MDCCCCV PUBLISHED BY J.M. DENT AND CO: ALDINE HOUSE LONDON W C



CATHEMERINON LIBER OF PRUDENTIUS

HYMNS FOR THE CHRISTIAN'S DAY

NEWLY TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH VERSE



PRAEFATIO

Per quinquennia iam decem, ni fallor, fuimus: septimus insuper annum cardo rotat, dum fruimur sole volubili. Instat terminus et diem vicinum senio iam Deus adplicat. 5 Quid nos utile tanti spatio temporis egimus? Aetas prima crepantibus flevit sub ferulis: mox docuit toga infectum vitiis falsa loqui, non sine crimine. Tum lasciva protervitas, 10 et luxus petulans (heu pudet ac piget) foedavit iuvenem nequitiae sordibus ac luto. Exin iurgia turbidos armarunt animos et male pertinax vincendi studium subiacuit casibus asperis. 15 Bis legum moderamine frenos nobilium reximus urbium, ius civile bonis reddidimus, terruimus reos. Tandem militiae gradu evectum pietas principis extulit 20 adsumptum propius stare iubens ordine proximo. Haec dum vita volans agit, inrepsit subito canities seni oblitum veteris me Saliae consulis arguens: ex quo prima dies mihi 25 quam multas hiemes volverit et rosas pratis post glaciem reddiderit, nix capitis probat. Numquid talia proderunt carnis post obitum vel bona vel mala, cum iam, quidquid id est, quod fueram, mors aboleverit? 30 Dicendum mihi; Quisquis es, mundum, quem coluit, mens tua perdidit: non sunt illa Dei, quae studuit, cuius habeberis. Atqui fine sub ultimo peccatrix anima stultitiam exuat: 35 saltem voce Deum concelebret, si meritis nequit: hymnis continuet dies, nec nox ulla vacet, quin Dominum canat: pugnet contra hereses, catholicam discutiat fidem, conculcet sacra gentium, 40 labem, Roma, tuis inferat idolis, carmen martyribus devoveat, laudet apostolos. Haec dum scribo vel eloquor, vinclis o utinam corporis emicem liber, quo tulerit lingua sono mobilis ultimo. 45



PREFACE

Full fifty years my span of life hath run, Unless I err, and seven revolving years Have further sped while I the sun enjoy. Yet now the end draws nigh, and by God's will Old age's bound is reached: how have I spent And with what fruit so wide a tract of days? I wept in boyhood 'neath the sounding rod: Youth's toga donned, the rhetorician's arts I plied and with deceitful pleadings sinned: Anon a wanton life and dalliance gross (Alas! the recollection stings to shame!) Fouled and polluted manhood's opening bloom: And then the forum's strife my restless wits Enthralled, and the keen lust of victory Drove me to many a bitterness and fall. Twice held I in fair cities of renown The reins of office, and administered To good men justice and to guilty doom. At length the Emperor's will beneficent Exalted me to military power And to the rank that borders on the throne. The years are speeding onward, and gray hairs Of old have mantled o'er my brows And Salia's consulship from memory dies. What frost-bound winters since that natal year Have fled, what vernal suns reclothed The meads with roses,—this white crown declares. Yet what avail the prizes or the blows Of fortune, when the body's spark is quenched And death annuls whatever state I held? This sentence I must hear: "Whate'er thou art, Thy mind hath lost the world it loved: not God's The things thou soughtest, Whose thou now shalt be." Yet now, ere hence I pass, my sinning soul Shall doff its folly and shall praise my Lord If not by deeds, at least with humble lips. Let each day link itself with grateful hymns And every night re-echo songs of God: Yea, be it mine to fight all heresies, Unfold the meanings of the Catholic faith, Trample on Gentile rites, thy gods, O Rome, Dethrone, the Martyrs laud, th' Apostles sing. O while such themes my pen and tongue employ, May death strike off these fetters of the flesh And bear me whither my last breath shall rise!



I. HYMNUS AD GALLI CANTUM

Ales diei nuntius lucem propinquam praecinit; nos excitator mentium iam Christus ad vitam vocat.

Auferte, clamat, lectulos 5 aegros, soporos, desides: castique recti ac sobrii vigilate, iam sum proximus.

Post solis ortum fulgidi serum est cubile spernere, 10 ni parte noctis addita tempus labori adieceris.

Vox ista, qua strepunt aves stantes sub ipso culmine paulo ante quam lux emicet, 15 nostri figura est iudicis.

Tectos tenebris horridis stratisque opertos segnibus suadet quietem linquere iam iamque venturo die. 20

Ut, cum coruscis flatibus aurora caelum sparserit, omnes labore exercitos confirmet ad spem luminis.

Hic somnus ad tempus datus 25 est forma mortis perpetis, peccata ceu nox horrida cogunt iacere ac stertere.

Sed vox ab alto culmine Christi docentis praemonet, 30 adesse iam lucem prope, ne mens sopori serviat:

Ne somnus usque ad terminos vitae socordis opprimat pectus sepultum crimine 35 et lucis oblitum suae.

Ferunt vagantes daemonas laetos tenebris noctium, gallo canente exterritos sparsim timere et cedere. 40

Invisa nam vicinitas lucis, salutis, numinis rupto tenebrarum situ noctis fugat satellites.

Hoc esse signum praescii 45 norunt repromissae spei, qua nos soporis liberi speramus adventum Dei.

Quae vis sit huius alitis, salvator ostendit Petro, 50 ter antequam gallus canat sese negandum praedicans.

Fit namque peccatum prius, quam praeco lucis proximae inlustret humanum genus 55 finemque peccandi ferat.

Flevit negator denique ex ore prolapsum nefas, cum mens maneret innocens, animusque servaret fidem. 60

Nec tale quidquam postea linguae locutus lubrico est, cantuque galli cognito peccare iustus destitit.

Inde est quod omnes credimus, 65 illo quietis tempore quo gallus exsultans canit Christum redisse ex inferis.

Tunc mortis oppressus vigor, tunc lex subacta est tartari, 70 tunc vis diei fortior noctem coegit cedere.

Iam iam quiescant inproba, iam culpa furva obdormiat, iam noxa letalis suum 75 perpessa somnum marceat.

Vigil vicissim spiritus quodcumque restat temporis, dum meta noctis clauditur, stans ac laborans excubet. 80

Iesum ciamus vocibus flentes, precantes, sobrii: intenta supplicatio dormire cor mundum vetat.

Sat convolutis artubus 85 sensum profunda oblivio pressit, gravavit, obruit vanis vagantem somniis.

Sunt nempe falsa et frivola, quae mundiali gloria 90 ceu dormientes egimus: vigilemus, hic est veritas.

Aurum, voluptas, gaudium, opes, honores, prospera, quaecumque nos inflant mala, 95 fit mane, nil sunt omnia.

Tu, Christe, somnum dissice, tu rumpe noctis vincula, tu solve peccatum vetus novumque lumen ingere. 100



I. HYMN AT COCK-CROW

Awake! the shining day is born! The herald cock proclaims the morn: And Christ, the soul's Awakener, cries, Bidding us back to life arise.

Away the sluggard's bed! away The slumber of the soul's decay! Ye chaste and just and temperate, Watch! I am standing at the gate.

After the sun hath risen red 'Tis late for men to scorn their bed, Unless a portion of the night They seize for labours of the light.

Mark ye, what time the dawn draws nigh, How 'neath the eaves the swallows cry? Know that by true similitude Their notes our Judge's voice prelude.

When hid by shades of dark malign On beds of softness we recline, They call us forth with music clear Warning us that the day is near.

When breezes bright of orient morn With rosy hues the heavens adorn, They cheer with hope of gladdening light The hearts that spend in toil their might.

Though sleep be but a passing guest 'Tis type of death's perpetual rest: Our sins are as a ghastly night, And seal with slumbers deep our sight.

But from the wide roof of the sky Christ's voice peals forth with urgent cry, Calling our sleep-bound hearts to rise And greet the dawn with wakeful eyes.

He bids us fear lest sensual ease Unto life's end the spirit seize And in the tomb of shame us bind, Till we are to the true light blind.

'Tis said that baleful spirits roam Abroad beneath the dark's vast dome; But, when the cock crows, take their flight Sudden dispersed in sore affright.

For the foul votaries of the night Abhor the coming of the light, And shamed before salvation's grace The hosts of darkness hide their face.

They know the cock doth prophesy Of Hope's long-promised morning sky, When comes the Majesty Divine Upon awakened worlds to shine.

The Lord to Peter once foretold What meaning that shrill strain should hold, How he before cock-crow would lie And thrice his Master dear deny.

For 'tis a law that sin is done Before the herald of the sun To humankind the dawn proclaims And with his cry the sinner shames.

Then wept he bitter tears aghast That from his lips the words had passed, Though guileless he his soul possessed And faith still reigned within his breast.

Nor ever reckless word he said Thereafter, by his tongue betrayed, But at the cock's familiar cry Humbled he turned from vanity.

Therefore it is we hold to-day That, as the world in stillness lay, What hour the cock doth greet the skies, Christ from deep Hades did arise.

Lo! then the bands of death were burst, Shattered the sway of hell accurst: Then did the Day's superior might Swiftly dispel the hosts of Night.

Now let base deeds to silence fall, Black thoughts be stilled beyond recall: Now let sin's opiate spell retire To that deep sleep it doth inspire.

For all the hours that still remain Until the dark his goal attain, Alert for duty's stern command Let every soul a sentry stand.

With sober prayer on Jesus call; Let tears with our strong crying fall; Sleep cannot on the pure soul steal That supplicates with fervent zeal.

Too long did dull oblivion cloud Our motions and our senses shroud: Lulled by her numbing touch, we stray In dreamland's ineffectual way.

Bound by the dazzling world's soft chain 'Tis false and fleeting gauds we gain, Like those who in deep slumbers lie:— Let us awake! the truth is nigh.

Gold, honours, pleasure, wealth and ease, And all the joys that mortals please, Joys with a fatal glamour fraught— When morning comes, lo! all are nought.

But thou, O Christ, put sleep to flight And break the iron bands of night, Free us from burden of past sin And shed Thy morning rays within.



II. HYMNUS MATUTINUS

Nox et tenebrae et nubila, confusa mundi et turbida, lux intrat, albescit polus, Christus venit, discedite.

Caligo terrae scinditur 5 percussa solis spiculo, rebusque iam color redit vultu nitentis sideris.

Sic nostra mox obscuritas fraudisque pectus conscium 10 ruptis retectum nubibus regnante pallescit Deo.

Tunc non licebit claudere quod quisque fuscum cogitat, sed mane clarescent novo 15 secreta mentis prodita.

Fur ante lucem squalido inpune peccat tempore, sed lux dolis contraria latere furtum non sinit. 20

Versuta fraus et callida amat tenebris obtegi, aptamque noctem turpibus adulter occultus fovet.

Sol ecce surgit igneus, 25 piget, pudescit, paenitet, nec teste quisquam lumine peccare constanter potest.

Quis mane sumptis nequiter non erubescit poculis, 30 cum fit libido temperans castumque nugator sapit?

Nunc, nunc severum vivitur, nunc nemo tentat ludicrum, inepta nunc omnes sua 35 vultu colorant serio.

Haec hora cunctis utilis, qua quisque, quod studet, gerat, miles, togatus, navita, opifex, arator, institor. 40

Illum forensis gloria, hunc triste raptat classicum, mercator hinc ac rusticus avara suspirant lucra.

At nos lucelli ac faenoris 45 fandique prorsus nescii, nec arte fortes bellica, te, Christe, solum novimus.

Te mente pura et simplici, te voce, te cantu pio 50 rogare curvato genu flendo et canendo discimus.

His nos lucramur quaestibus, hac arte tantum vivimus, haec inchoamus munera, 55 cum sol resurgens emicat.

Intende nostris sensibus, vitamque totam dispice, sunt multa fucis inlita, quae luce purgentur tua. 60

Durare nos tales iube, quales, remotis sordibus nitere pridem iusseras, Iordane tinctos flumine.

Quodcumque nox mundi dehinc 65 infecit atris nubibus, tu, rex Eoi sideris, vultu sereno inlumina.

Tu sancte, qui taetram picem candore tingis lacteo 70 ebenoque crystallum facis, delicta terge livida.

Sub nocte Iacob caerula luctator audax angeli, eo usque dum lux surgeret, 75 sudavit inpar praelium.

Sed cum iubar claresceret, lapsante claudus poplite femurque victus debile culpae vigorem perdidit. 80

Nutabat inguen saucium, quae corporis pars vilior longeque sub cordis loco diram fovet libidinem.

Hae nos docent imagines, 85 hominem tenebris obsitum, si forte non cedat Deo, vires rebellis perdere.

Erit tamen beatior, intemperans membrum cui 90 luctando claudum et tabidum dies oborta invenerit.

Tandem facessat caecitas, quae nosmet in praeceps diu lapsos sinistris gressibus 95 errore traxit devio.

Haec lux serenum conferat purosque nos praestet sibi: nihil loquamur subdolum, volvamus obscurum nihil. 100

Sic tota decurrat dies, ne lingua mendax, ne manus, oculive peccent lubrici, ne noxa corpus inquinet.

Speculator adstat desuper, 105 qui nos diebus omnibus actusque nostros prospicit a luce prima in vesperum.

Hic testis, hic est arbiter, his intuetur quidquid est, 110 humana quod mens concipit; hunc nemo fallit iudicem.



II. MORNING HYMN

Ye clouds and darkness, hosts of night That breed confusion and affright, Begone! o'erhead the dawn shines clear, The light breaks in and Christ is here.

Earth's gloom flees broken and dispersed, By the sun's piercing shafts coerced: The daystar's eyes rain influence bright And colours glimmer back to sight.

So shall our guilty midnight fade, The sin-stained heart's gross dusky shade: So shall the King's All-radiant Face Sudden unveil our deep disgrace.

No longer then may we disguise Our dark intents from those clear eyes: Yea, at the dayspring's advent blest Our inmost thoughts will stand confest.

The thief his hidden traffic plies Unmarked before the dawn doth rise: But light, the foe of guile concealed, Lets no ill craft lie unrevealed.

Fraud and Deceit love only night, Their wiles they practise out of sight; Curtained by dark, Adultery too Doth his foul treachery pursue,

But slinks abashed and shamed away Soon as the sun rekindles day, For none can damning light resist And 'neath its rays in sin persist.

Who doth not blush o'ertook by morn And his long night's carousal scorn? For day subdues the lustful soul, And doth all foul desires control.

Now each to earnest life awakes, Now each his wanton sport forsakes; Now foolish things are put away And gravity resumes her sway.

It is the hour for duty's deeds, The path to which our labour leads, Be it the forum, army, sea, The mart or field or factory.

One seeks the plaudits of the bar, One the stern trumpet calls to war: Those bent on trade and husbandry At greed's behest for lucre sigh.

Mine is no rhetorician's fame, No petty usury I claim; Nor am I skilled to face the foe: 'Tis Thou, O Christ, alone I know.

Yea, I have learnt to wait on Thee With heart and lips of purity, Humbly my knees in prayer to bend, And tears with songs of praise to blend.

These are the gains I hold in view And these the arts that I pursue: These are the offices I ply When the bright sun mounts up the sky.

Prove Thou my heart, my every thought, Search into all that I have wrought: Though I be stained with blots within, Thy quickening rays shall purge my sin.

O may I ever spotless be As when my stains were cleansed by Thee, Who bad'st me 'neath the Jordan's wave Of yore my soiled spirit lave.

If e'er since then the world's gross night Hath cast its curtain o'er my sight, Dispel the cloud, O King of grace, Star of the East! with thy pure face.

Since Thou canst change, O holy Light, The blackest hue to milky white, Ebon to clearness crystalline, Wash my foul stains and make me clean.

'Twas 'neath the lonely star-blue night That Jacob waged the unequal fight, Stoutly he wrestled with the Man In darkness, till the day began.

And when the sun rose in the sky He halted on his shrivelled thigh: His natural might had ebbed away, Vanquished in that tremendous fray.

Not wounded he in nobler part Nor smitten in life's fount, the heart: But lust was shaken from his throne And his foul empire overthrown.

Whereby we clearly learn aright That man is whelmed by deadly night, Unless he own God conqueror And strive against His will no more.

Yet happier he whom rising morn Shall find of nature's strength forlorn, Whose warring flesh hath shrunk away, Palsied by virtue's puissant sway.

And then at length let darkness flee, Which all too long held us in fee, 'Mid wildering shadows made us stray And led in devious tracks our way.

We pray Thee, Rising Light serene, E'en as Thyself our hearts make clean: Let no deceit our lips defile Nor let our souls be vexed by guile.

O keep us, as the hours proceed, From lying word and evil deed, Our roving eyes from sin set free, Our body from impurity.

For thou dost from above survey The converse of each fleeting day: Thou dost foresee from morning light Our every deed, until the night.

Justice and judgment dwell with Thee, Whatever is, Thine eye doth see: Thou know'st what human hearts conceive And none Thy wisdom may deceive.



III. HYMNUS ANTE CIBUM

O crucifer bone, lucisator, omniparens, pie, verbigena, edite corpore virgineo, sed prius in genitore potens, astra, solum, mare quam fierent: 5

Huc nitido precor intuitu flecte salutiferam faciem, fronte serenus et inradia, nominis ut sub honore tui has epulas liceat capere. 10

Te sine dulce nihil, Domine, nec iuvat ore quid adpetere, pocula ni prius atque cibos, Christe, tuus favor inbuerit omnia sanctificante fide. 15

Fercula nostra Deum sapiant, Christus et influat in pateras: seria, ludicra, verba, iocos, denique quod sumus aut agimus, trina superne regat pietas. 20

Hic mihi nulla rosae spolia, nullus aromate fragrat odor, sed liquor influit ambrosius nectareamque fidem redolet fusus ab usque Patris gremio. 25

Sperne camena leves hederas, cingere tempora quis solita es, sertaque mystica dactylico texere docta liga strophio, laude Dei redimita comas. 30

Quod generosa potest anima, lucis et aetheris indigena, solvere dignius obsequium, quam data munera si recinat artificem modulata suum? 35

Ipse homini quia cuncta dedit, quae capimus dominante manu, quae polus aut humus aut pelagus aere, gurgite, rure creant, haec mihi subdidit et sibi me. 40

Callidus inlaqueat volucres aut pedicis dolus aut maculis, inlita glutine corticeo vimina plumigeram seriem inpediunt et abire vetant. 45

Ecce per aequora fluctivagos texta greges sinuosa trahunt: piscis item sequitur calamum raptus acumine vulnifico credula saucius ora cibo. 50

Fundit opes ager ingenuas dives aristiferae segetis: his ubi vitea pampineo brachia palmite luxuriant, pacis alumna ubi baca viret. 55

Haec opulentia Christicolis servit et omnia suppeditat: absit enim procul ilia fames, caedibus ut pecudum libeat sanguineas lacerare dapes. 60

Sint fera gentibus indomitis prandia de nece quadrupedum: nos oleris coma, nos siliqua feta legumine multimodo paverit innocuis epulis. 65

Spumea mulctra gerunt niveos ubere de gemino latices, perque coagula densa liquor in solidum coit et fragili lac tenerum premitur calatho. 70

Mella recens mihi Cecropia nectare sudat olente favus: haec opifex apis aerio rore liquat tenuique thymo, nexilis inscia connubii. 75

Hinc quoque pomiferi nemoris munera mitia proveniunt, arbor onus tremefacta suum deciduo gravis imbre pluit puniceosque iacit cumulos. 80

Quae veterum tuba, quaeve lyra flatibus inclita vel fidibus divitis omnipotentis opus, quaeque fruenda patent homini laudibus aequiparare queat? 85

Te Pater optime mane novo, solis et orbita cum media est, te quoque luce sub occidua sumere cum monet hora cibum, nostra Deus canet harmonia. 90

Quod calet halitus interior, corde quod abdita vena tremit, pulsat et incita quod resonam lingua sub ore latens caveam, laus superi Patris esto mihi. 95

Nos igitur tua sancte manus caespite conposuit madido effigiem meditata suam, utque foret rata materies flavit et indidit ore animam. 100

Tunc per amoena vireta iubet frondicomis habitare locis, ver ubi perpetuum redolet prataque multicolora latex quadrifluo celer amne rigat. 105

Haec tibi nunc famulentur, ait, usibus omnia dedo tuis: sed tamen aspera mortifero stipite carpere poma veto, qui medio viret in nemore. 110

Hic draco perfidus indocile virginis inlicit ingenium, ut socium malesuada virum mandere cogeret ex vetitis ipsa pari peritura modo. 115

Corpora mutua—nosse nefas— post epulas inoperta vident, lubricus error et erubuit: tegmina suta parant foliis, dedecus ut pudor occuleret. 120

Conscia culpa Deum pavitans sede pia procul exigitur. innuba fernina quae fuerat, coniugis excipit inperium, foedera tristia iussa pati. 125

Auctor et ipse doli coluber plectitur inprobus, ut mulier colla trilinguia calce terat: sic coluber muliebre solum suspicit atque virum mulier. 130

His ducibus vitiosa dehinc posteritas ruit in facinus, dumque rudes imitatur avos, fasque nefasque simul glomerans inpia crimina morte luit. 135

Ecce venit nova progenies, aethere proditus alter homo, non luteus, velut ille prior: sed Deus ipse gerens hominem, corporeisque carens vitiis. 140

Fit caro vivida sermo Patris, numine quam rutilante gravis non thalamo, neque iure tori, nec genialibus inlecebris intemerata puella parit. 145

Hoc odium vetus illud erat, hoc erat aspidis atque hominis digladiabile discidium, quod modo cernua femineis vipera proteritur pedibus. 150

Edere namque Deum merita omnia virgo venena domat: tractibus anguis inexplicitis virus inerme piger revomit, gramine concolor in viridi. 155

Quae feritas modo non trepidat, territa de grege candidulo? inpavidas lupus inter oves tristis obambulat et rabidum sanguinis inmemor os cohibet. 160

Agnus enim vice mirifica ecce leonibus inperitat: exagitansque truces aquilas per vaga nubila, perque notos sidere lapsa columba fugat. 165

Tu mihi Christe columba potens, sanguine pasta cui cedit avis, tu niveus per ovile tuum agnus hiare lupum prohibes, sub iuga tigridis ora premens. 170

Da locuples Deus hoc famulis rite precantibus, ut tenui membra cibo recreata levent, neu piger inmodicis dapibus viscera tenta gravet stomachus. 175

Haustus amarus abesto procul, ne libeat tetigisse manu exitiale quid aut vetitum: gustus et ipse modum teneat, sospitet ut iecur incolume. 180

Sit satis anguibus horrificis, liba quod inpia corporibus ah miseram peperere necem, sufficiat semel ob facinus plasma Dei potuisse mori. 185

Oris opus, vigor igneolus non moritur, quia flante Deo conpositus superoque fluens de solio Patris artificis vim liquidae rationis habet. 190

Viscera mortua quin etiam post obitum reparare datur, eque suis iterum tumulis prisca renascitur effigies pulvereo coeunte situ. 195

Credo equidem, neque vana fides, corpora vivere more animae: nam modo corporeum memini de Phlegethonte gradu facili ad superos remeasse Deum. 200

Spes eadem mea membra manet, quae redolentia funereo iussa quiescere sarcophago dux parili redivivus humo ignea Christus ad astra vocat. 205



III. HYMN BEFORE MEAT

Blest Cross-bearer, Source of good, Light-creating, Word-begot, Gracious child of maidenhood, Bosomed in the Fatherhood, When earth, sea and stars were not.

With Thy cloudless, healing gaze Shine upon me from above: Let Thine all-enlightening rays Bless this meal and quicken praise, Praise unto Thy name of Love.

Lord, without Thee nought is sweet, Nought my life can satisfy, If Thy favour make not meet What I drink and what I eat; Let faith all things sanctify!

O'er this bread God's grace be poured, Christ's sweet fragrance fill the bowl! Rule my converse, Triune Lord, Sober thought and sportive word, All my acts and all my soul.

Spoils of rose-trees are not spent, Nor rich unguents on my board: But ambrosial sweets are sent, Of faith's nectar redolent, From the bosom of my Lord.

Scorn, my Muse, light ivy-leaves Wherewith custom wreathed thy brow: Love a mystic crown conceives And a rhythmic garland weaves: Bind on thee God's praises now.

What more worthy gift can I, Child of light and aether, bring Than for boons the Maker high From His bounty doth supply Lovingly my thanks to sing?

He hath set 'neath our command All that ever rose to be, All that sky and sea and land Breed in air, in glebe and sand, Made my slaves, His own made me.

Fowler's craft with gin and net Feathered tribes of heaven ensnares: Osier twigs with lime o'erset That their airy flight may let His relentless guile prepares.

Lo! with woven mesh the seine Swimming shoals draws from the wave: Nor do fish the bait disdain Till they feel the barb's swift pain, Captives of the food they crave.

Native wealth that knows no fail, Golden wheat springs from the field: Tendrils lush o'er vineyards trail, Nursed of Peace the olives pale Berries green unbidden yield.

Christ's grace fills His people's need With these mercies ever fresh: Far from us be that foul greed, Gluttony that loves to feed On slain oxen's bloodstained flesh.

Leave to the barbarian brood Banquet of the slaughtered beast: Ours the homely, garden food, Greenstuff manifold and good And the lentils' harmless feast.

Foaming milkpails bubble o'er With the udders' snowy stream, Which in thickening churns we pour Or in wicker baskets store, As the cheese is pressed from cream.

Honey's nectar for our use From the new-made comb is shed: Which the skilful bee imbues With thyme's scent and airy dews, Plying lonely toils unwed.

Orchard-groves now mellowed o'er Bounteously their fruitage shed: See! like rain on forest floor Shaken trees their riches pour, High-heaped apples, ripe and red.

What great trumpet voice or lyre Famed of yore could fitly praise Gifts of the Almighty Sire, Blessings that His own require, Richly lavished through their days?

When morn breaks upon our sight, Hymns, O Lord, to Thee shall ring: Thee, when streams the midday light, Thee, when shadows of the night Bid us sup, our voices sing.

For my body's vital heat, For my heart-blood's pulsing vein, For my tongue and speech complete Unto Thee, Most High, 'tis meet That I raise my grateful strain.

'Twas, O Holy One, Thy care Wrought us from the plastic clay, Made us Thine own image bear, And for our perfection fair Did Thy Breath to man convey.

On the twain Thou didst bestow Leafy bowers in pleasaunce fair: Where spring's scents for aye did blow, And four stately streams did flow O'er meads pied with blossoms rare.

"All this realm ye now shall sway:" (Saidst Thou) "use it at your will, Yet 'tis death your hands to lay On the Tree, whose verdant sway Doth the midmost garden fill."

Then the Serpent's guileful hate Would not innocency spare: Bade the maiden urge her mate With the fruit his lips to sate, Nor 'scaped she the self-same snare.

Each their nakedness perceives When the feast they once partook: Smit with shame their conscience grieves: Wove they coverings of leaves Shielding from lascivious look.

Far they both in terror fled Thrust from dwelling of the pure: She who erst had dwelt unwed Subject to her spouse was led, Bidden Hymen's bonds endure.

On the Serpent, too, His seal God hath set, Who guile abhorred, Doomed in triple neck to feel Impress of the woman's heel, Fearing her, who feared her lord.

Thus sin in our parents sown Brought forth ruin for the race; Good and evil having grown From that primal root alone, Nought but death could guilt efface.

But the Second Man behold Come to re-create our kin: Not formed after common mould But our God (O Love untold!) Made in flesh that knows not sin.

Word of God incarnated, By His awful power conceived, Whom a maiden yet unwed, Innocent of marriage-bed, In her virgin womb received.

Now we see the Serpent lewd 'Neath the woman's heel downtrod: Whence there sprang the deadly feud, Strife for ages unsubdued, 'Twixt mankind and foe of God.

Yet God's mother, Maid adored, Robbed sin's poison of its bane, And the Snake, his green coils lowered, Writhing on the sod, outpoured Harmless now his venom's stain.

What fierce brute that doth not flee Lambs of Christ, white-robed and clean? 'Midst the flock from fear set free, Slinks the drear wolf sullenly, Checked his maw and tamed his mien.

Wondrous change! restrained by love Lions the mild lamb obey: Eagles wild, before the dove Fluttering from the stars above, Speed o'er cloudy winds away.

Thou, O Christ, my Dove dost reign Where the vulture gnaws no more: Thou dost, snow-white Lamb, enchain Tigers fierce, and wolves restrain Gaping at the sheepfold's door.

God of Love, Thy servants we Pray Thee now to grant our prayer That our feast may frugal be, Nor that we dishonour Thee By coarse surfeit of rich fare.

May we taste no bitter gall In our cup, nor handle we Aught of death or harm at all, Nor intemperately fall Into gross debauchery.

Be the powers of Hell content With their primal fraud, whereby Death into this world was sent, And that, for sin's chastisement, God's own creatures once should die.

But in us God's Breath of fire Cannot lose its vital force: Never can its might expire, Flowing from the Eternal Sire, Who of Reason's strength is source.

Nay, from out death's chilling tomb Mortal atoms shall arise: Man from earth's vast, hidden womb Other, yet the same, shall bloom, Dust re-made in glorious guise.

'Tis my faith—and faith not vain— Bodies live e'en as the soul: Since I hold in memory plain God as man uprose again, Loosed from Hell, to His true goal.

Whence from Him the hope I reap That these limbs the same shall rise, Which enwrapped in balmy sleep Christ the Risen safe shall keep Till He call me to the skies.



IV. HYMNUS POST CIBUM

Pastis visceribus ciboque sumpto, quem lex corporis inbecilla poscit, laudem lingua Deo patri rependat; Patri, qui Cherubin sedile sacrum, nec non et Seraphin suum supremo 5 subnixus solio tenet regitque.

Hic est, quem Sabaoth Deum vocamus, expers principii carensque fine, rerum conditor et repertor orbis: fons vitae liquida fluens ab arce, 10 infusor fidei, sator pudoris, mortis perdomitor, salutis auctor.

Omnes quod sumus aut vigemus, inde est: regnat Spiritus ille sempiternus a Christo simul et Parente missus. 15 Intrat pectora candidus pudica, quae templi vice consecrata rident, postquam conbiberint Deum medullis.

Sed si quid vitii dolive nasci inter viscera iam dicata sensit, 20 ceu spurcum refugit celer sacellum. Taetrum flagrat enim vapore crasso horror conscius aestuante culpa offensumque bonum niger repellit.

Nec solus pudor innocensve votum 25 templum constituunt perenne Christo in cordis medii sum ac recessu: sed ne crapula ferveat cavendum est, quae sedem fidei cibis refertam usque ad congeriem coartet intus. 30

Parcis victibus expedita corda infusum melius Deum receptant. Hic pastus animae est, saporque verus: sed nos tu gemino fovens paratu artus atque animas utroque pastu 35 confirmas Pater ac vigore conples.

Sic olim tua praecluens potestas inter raucisonos situm leones, inlapsis dapibus virum refovit. Illum fusile numen execrantem 40 et curvare caput sub expolita aeris materia nefas putantem

Plebs dirae Babylonis ac tyrannus morti subdiderant, feris dicarant saevis protinus haustibus vorandum. 45 O semper pietas fidesque tuta! lambunt indomiti virum leones intactumque Dei tremunt alumnum.

Adstant cominus et iubas reponunt, mansuescit rabies fameque blanda 50 praedam rictibus ambit incruentis. Sed cum tenderet ad superna palmas expertumque sibi Deum rogaret, clausus iugiter indigensque victu:

Iussus nuntius advolare terris, 55 qui pastum famulo daret probato, raptim desilit obsequente mundo. Cernit forte procul dapes inemptas, quas messoribus Abbacuc propheta agresti bonus exhibebat arte. 60

Huius caesarie manu prehensa plenis, sicut erat, gravem canistris suspensum rapit et vehit per auras. Tum raptus simul ipse prandiumque sensim labitur in lacum leonum, 65 et, quas tunc epulas gerebat, offert:

Sumas laetus, ait, libensque carpas, quae summus Pater, angelusque Christi mittunt liba tibi sub hoc periclo. His sumptis Danielus excitavit 70 in caelum faciem ciboque fortis Amen reddidit, Halleluia dixit.

Sic nos muneribus tuis refecti, largitor Deus omnium bonorum, grates reddimus et sacramus hymnos. 75 Tu nos tristifico velut tyranno mundi scilicet inpotentis actu conclusos regis et feram repellis,

Quae circumfremit ac vorare temptat insanos acuens furore dentes, 80 cur te, summe Deus, precemur unum. Vexamur, premimur, malis rotamur; oderunt, lacerant, trahunt, lacessunt, iuncta est suppliciis fides iniquis.

Nec defit tamen anxiis medela; 85 nam languente trucis leonis ira inlapsae superingeruntur escae. Quas si quis sitienter hauriendo non gustu tenui, sed ore pleno internis velit inplicare venis, 90

Hic sancto satiatus ex propheta, iustorum capiet cibos virorum, qui fructum domino metunt perenni. Nil est dulcius ac magis saporum, nil quod plus hominem iuvare possit, 95 quam vatis pia praecinentis orsa.

His sumptis licet insolens potestas pravum iudicet, inrogetque mortem, inpasti licet inruant leones, nos semper Dominum patrem fatentes 100 in te, Christe Deus, loquemur unum constanterque tuam crucem feremus.



IV. HYMN AFTER MEAT

Refreshed we rise, and for this bread that feeds, By law of man's weak flesh, our daily needs, Let every tongue, the Father's praises sing; The Father Who on His exalted throne, O'er Cherubim and Seraphim, alone Reigns in His majesty, Eternal King.

God of Sabaoth is His name: 'tis He Who ne'er began and ne'er shall cease to be, Builder of worlds created at His word; Fountain of Life that flows from out the sky, He breathes within us Faith and Purity, Great Conqueror of Death, Salvation's Lord.

From Him each creature life and vigour gains, And over all the Eternal Spirit reigns Who cometh from the Father and the Son: When, dovelike, on pure hearts the heavenly Guest Descends, they are by God's own presence blest, As temples where His holy work is done.

But if the taint of vice or guile arise Within the consecrated shrine, He flies With speed from out the sin-defiled cell; For, driven forth by guilt's black, surging tide, The offended Godhead may not there abide Where conscious sin and noisome foulness dwell.

Not chastity nor childlike faith alone Build up for Christ an everlasting throne Deep in the inmost heart, devoid of shame: But watchful ever must His servants be, Lest the dark power of sated gluttony Should bind about the abode of faith its chain.

Yet simple saints, content with frugal fare, More surely find the Spirit present there, Who is our soul's true strength and heavenly food: Thy love for us a twofold feast supplies, O Father, whence the soul may strengthened rise And eke the body gain new hardihood.

Thus, fed and sheltered by Thy matchless might, The lions' hideous roar could not affright Thy loyal servant in the days of old: He boldly cursed the molten deity And stood with stubborn head uplifted high That scorned to bow before a god of gold.

Then Babylon's vile mob with fury glows; Death is his doom; and straight the tyrant throws The youth to be his savage lions' prey: But faith and piety Thou still dost save, For lo! the untamed brutes no longer rave, But round God's unscathed child they gently play.

Close by his side they stand with drooping mane, The grisly, gaping jaws from blood refrain And with rough tongues their whilom prey caress: But when in prayer he raised his hands to heaven And called the God, from Whom such help was given, Close-prisoned, hungry, and in sore distress,

A winged messenger to earth He sends, Who swiftly through the parting clouds descends To feed His servant, proven by the test: By chance he sees from far the unbought fare Which the good seer Habakkuk's kindly care With rustic art had for the reapers dressed:

Then, grasping in strong hand the prophet's hair, He bears him gently through the rushing air, Still burdened with the platter's savoury load, Till o'er the lions' den at last they stayed And straightway to the starving youth displayed The food thus brought, by God's good grace bestowed.

"Take this with joy," he said, "and thankful feed, The bread that in thy hour of direst need, By the great Father sent, Christ's angel brings." Then Daniel lifts his eyes to heaven above And, strengthened by the wondrous gift of love, "Amen!" he cries, and Alleluia sings.

Thus, therefore, by Thy bounties now restored, Giver of all things good, Almighty Lord, We render thanks and sing glad hymns to Thee: Though prisoned in an evil world we dwell Where sin's grim tyrant rules, Thou dost repel With sovran power our mortal enemy.

He roars around us, and would fain devour, Grinding his angry teeth when 'gainst his power In Thee alone, O God, we still confide: By evil things we are beset and vexed, Tormented, hated, harassed and perplexed, Our faith by cruel suffering sorely tried,

Yet help ne'er fails us in our time of need, For Thou canst quell the lions' rage, and feed Our hungry spirits with celestial fare: And if some soul no meagre taste would gain Of that repast, but thirstily is fain Full measure of the heavenly sweets to share,

He by the holy seers of old is fed, And shall partake the loyal reapers' bread Who labour in the eternal Master's field: For nothing sweeter than the Word can be That fell from righteous lips, once touched by Thee, And nought can richer grace to mortals yield.

With this sustained, though vaunting tyranny By unjust judgment doom us straight to die, And starved lions rush these limbs to tear; Confessing ever Thine Eternal Son, With Thee, Almighty Father, ever one, His cross with faith unshaken will we bear.



V. HYMNUS AD INCENSUM LUCERNAE

Inventor rutili, dux bone, luminis, qui certis vicibus tempora dividis, merso sole chaos ingruit horridum, lucem redde tuis Christe fidelibus.

Quamvis innumero sidere regiam 5 lunarique polum lampade pinxeris, incussu silicis lumina nos tamen monstras saxigeno semine quaerere:

Ne nesciret homo spem sibi luminis in Christi solido corpore conditam, 10 qui dici stabilem se voluit petram, nostris igniculis unde genus venit.

Pinguis quos olei rore madentibus lychnis aut facibus pascimus aridis: quin et fila favis scirpea floreis 15 presso melle prius conlita fingimus.

Vivax flamma viget, seu cava testula sucum linteolo suggerit ebrio, seu pinus piceam fert alimoniam, seu ceram teretem stuppa calens bibit. 20

Nectar de liquido vertice fervidum guttatim lacrimis stillat olentibus, ambustum quoniam vis facit ignea imbrem de madido flere cacumine.

Splendent ergo tuis muneribus, Pater, 25 flammis mobilibus scilicet atria, absentemque diem lux agit aemula, quam nox cum lacero victa fugit peplo.

Sed quis non rapidi luminis arduam manantemque Deo cernat originem? 30 Moyses nempe Deum spinifera in rubo vidit conspicuo lumine flammeum.

Felix, qui meruit sentibus in sacris caelestis solii visere principem, iussus nexa pedum vincula solvere, 35 ne sanctum involucris pollueret locum.

Hunc ignem populus sanguinis incliti maiorum meritis tutus et inpotens, suetus sub dominis vivere barbaris, iam liber sequitur longa per avia: 40

qua gressum tulerant castraque caerulae noctis per medium concita moverant, plebem pervigilem fulgure praevio ducebat radius sole micantior.

Sed rex Niliaci littoris invido 45 fervens felle iubet praevalidam manum in bellum rapidis ire cohortibus ferratasque acies clangere classicum.

Sumunt arma viri seque minacibus accingunt gladiis, triste canit tuba: 50 hic fidit iaculis, ille volantia praefigit calamis spicula Gnosiis.

Densetur cuneis turba pedestribus, currus pars et equos et volucres rotas conscendunt celeres signaque bellica 55 praetendunt tumidis clara draconibus.

Hic iam servitii nescia pristini gens Pelusiacis usta vaporibus tandem purpurei gurgitis hospita rubris littoribus fessa resederat. 60

Hostis dirus adest cum duce perfido, infert et validis praelia viribus: Moyses porro suos in mare praecipit constans intrepidis tendere gressibus:

praebent rupta locum stagna viantibus 65 riparum in faciem pervia, sistitur circumstans vitreis unda liquoribus, dum plebs sub bifido permeat aequore.

Pubes quin etiam decolor asperis inritata odiis rege sub inpio 70 Hebraeum sitiens fundere sanguinem audet se pelago credere concavo:

ibant praecipiti turbine percita fluctus per medios agmina regia, sed confusa dehinc unda revolvitur 75 in semet revolans gurgite confluo.

Currus tunc et equos telaque naufraga ipsos et proceres et vaga corpora nigrorum videas nare satellitum, arcis iustitium triste tyrannicae. 80

Quae tandem poterit lingua retexere laudes Christe tuas? qui domitam Pharon plagis multimodis cedere praesuli cogis iustitiae vindice dextera.

Qui pontum rapidis aestibus invium 85 persultare vetas, ut refluo in salo securus pateat te duce transitus, et mox unda rapax devoret inpios.

Cui ieiuna eremi saxa loquacibus exundant scatebris, et latices novos 90 fundit scissa silex, quae sitientibus dat potum populis axe sub igneo.

Instar fellis aqua tristifico in lacu fit ligni venia mel velut Atticum: lignum est, quo sapiunt aspera dulcius; 95 uam praefixa cruci spes hominum viget.

Inplet castra cibus tunc quoque ninguidus, inlabens gelida grandine densius: his mensas epulis, hac dape construunt, quam dat sidereo Christus ab aethere. 100

Nec non imbrifero ventus anhelitu crassa nube leves invehit alites, quae conflata in humum, cum semel agmina fluxerunt, reduci non revolant fuga.

Haec olim patribus praemia contulit 105 insignis pietas numinis unici, cuius subsidio nos quoque vescimur pascentes dapibus pectora mysticis.

Fessos ille vocat per freta seculi discissis populum turbinibus regens 110 iactatasque animas mille laboribus iustorum in patriam scandere praecipit.

Illic purpureis tecta rosariis omnis fragrat humus calthaque pinguia et molles violas et tenues crocos 115 fundit fonticulis uda fugacibus.

Illic et gracili balsama surculo desudata fluunt, raraque cinnama spirant et folium, fonte quod abdito praelambens fluvius portat in exitum. 120

Felices animae prata per herbida concentu parili suave sonantibus hymnorum modulis dulce canunt melos, calcant et pedibus lilia candidis.

Sunt et spiritibus saepe nocentibus 125 paenarum celebres sub Styge feriae illa nocte, sacer qua rediit Deus stagnis ad superos ex Acheronticis.

Non sicut tenebras de face fulgida surgens oceano Lucifer inbuit, 130 sed terris Domini de cruce tristibus maior sole novum restituens diem.

Marcent suppliciis tartara mitibus, exultatque sui carceris otio functorum populus liber ab ignibus, 135 nec fervent solito flumina sulphure.

Nos festis trahimus per pia gaudia noctem conciliis votaque prospera certatim vigili congerimus prece extructoque agimus liba sacrario. 140

Pendent mobilibus lumina funibus, quae suffixa micant per laquearia, et de languidulis fota natatibus lucem perspicuo flamma iacit vitro.

Credas stelligeram desuper aream 145 ornatam geminis stare trionibus, et qua bosporeum temo regit iugum, passim purpureos spargier hesperos.

O res digna, Pater, quam tibi roscidae noctis principio grex tuus offerat, 150 lucem, qua tribuis nil pretiosius, lucem, qua reliqua praemia cernimus.

Tu lux vera oculis, lux quoque sensibus, intus tu speculum, tu speculum foris, lumen, quod famulans offero, suscipe, 155 tinctum pacifici chrismatis unguine.

Per Christum genitum, summe Pater, tuum, in quo visibilis stat tibi gloria, qui noster Dominus, qui tuus unicus spirat de patrio corde paraclitum. 160

Per quem splendor, honos, laus, sapientia, maiestas, bonitas, et pietas tua regnum continuat numine triplici texens perpetuis secula seculis.



V. HYMN FOR THE LIGHTING OF THE LAMPS

Blest Lord, Creator of the glowing light, At Whose behest the hours successive move, The sun has set: black darkness broods above: Christ! light Thy faithful through the coming night.

Thy courts are lit with stars unnumbered, And in the cloudless vault the pale moon rides; Yet Thou dost bid us seek the fire that hides Till swift we strike it from its flinty bed.

So man may learn that in Christ's body came The hidden hope of light to mortals given: He is the Rock—'tis His own word—that riven Sends forth to all our race the eternal flame.

From lamps that brim with rich and fragrant oil, Or torches dry this heaven-sent fire we feed; Or make us rushlights from the flowering reed And wax, whereon the bees have spent their toil.

Bright glows the light, whether the resin thick Of pine-brand flares, or waxen tapers burn With melting radiance, or the hollow urn Yields its stored sweetness to the thirsty wick.

Beneath the might of fire, in slow decay The scented tears of glowing nectar fall; Lower and lower droops the candle tall And ever dwindling weeps itself away.

So by Thy gifts, great Father, hearth and hall Are all ablaze with points of twinkling light That vie with daylight spent; and vanquished Night Rends, as she flies away, her sable pall.

Who knoweth not that from high Heaven first came Our light, from God Himself the rushing fire? For Moses erst, amid the prickly brier, Saw God made manifest in lambent flame.

Ah, happy he! deemed worthy face to face To see heaven's Lord within that sacred brake; Bidden the sandals from his feet to take, Nor with his shoon defile that holy place.

The mighty children of the chosen name, Saved by the merits of their sires, and free After long years of savage tyranny, Through the drear desert followed still that flame.

Striking their camp beneath the silent night Where'er they went, to lead their darkling way, The cloud of glory lent its guiding ray And shone more splendid than the noonday light.

But, mad with jealous fury, Egypt's king Calls his great host to battle for their lord: Swiftly the cohorts gather at his word, And down the mail-clad lines the clarions ring.

Girding their trusty swords the warriors go To fill the ranks; hoarse bugles rend the air; These seize their massy javelins, these prepare The death-winged arrow and the Cretan bow.

The footmen throng in close battalions pressed; The chariots thunder; to the saddle spring The riders of the Nile, as forth they fling Egypt's proud banner with the serpent crest.

And now, forgetful of the bondage past, Thy children, tortured by the desert heat, Drag to the Red Sea's brink their weary feet, And on its sandy margin rest at last.

See! with their forsworn king the savage foe Draws nigh: the threatening squadrons nearer ride; But ever onward urged the intrepid guide And through the waves bade Israel fearless go.

Before that steadfast march the billows fall, Then raise on either hand their crystal mass, While through the sundered deep Thy people pass And ocean guards them with a liquid wall.

But, mad with baffled rage, the dusky horde Of Egypt, by their impious despot led, Athirst the hated Hebrews' blood to shed Pursued, all reckless of the o'er-arching flood.

Swift as the wind the royal squadrons ride, But swifter yet the crystal barriers break, The waves exultantly their bounds forsake And roll together in a roaring tide.

'Mid steeds and chariots and drifting mail The drowned lords of Egypt found a grave With all their swart retainers 'neath the wave; And in their haughty courts the mourners wail.

What tongue, O Christ, Thy glories can unfold? Thine was the arm, outstretched in wrath, that made The stricken land of Pharaoh, sore afraid, Bow down before Thy minister of old.

Thy pathless deep did at the voice restrain Its surging billows, till with Thee for guide Thy host passed scathless, and the refluent tide Swept down the wicked to the engulfing main.

At Thy command the desert, parched and dry, Breaks into laughing rills, and water clear Wells from the smitten rock Thy flock to cheer And quench their thirst beneath that brazen sky.

Then Marah's bitterness grew passing sweet, Touched by the mystic tree; so by the grace Of Thine own Tree, O Christ, our sinful race Regains its lost hopes at Thy pierced feet.

Faster than icy hail the manna falls, Like snow down drifting from a wintry sky; The feast is set: they heap the tables high With that rich food from Thy celestial halls.

Fresh blow the breezes from the distant shore And bear a fluttering cloud that hides the light, Till the frail pinions, faltering in their flight, Sink in the wilderness to rise no more.

How great the love of God's own Son, that shed Such wondrous bounty on His chosen race! And still to us He proffers in His grace The mystic Feast, wherewith our souls are fed.

Through the world's raging sea He bids us come, And 'twixt the sundered billows guides our path, Till, spent and wearied with the ocean's wrath, He calls His storm-tossed saints to Heaven and home.

There in His paradise red roses blow, With golden daffodils and lilies pale And gentle violets, and down the vale The murmuring rivulets for ever flow.

Sweet balsams, welling from the slender tree, And precious spices fill the fragrant air, And, hiding by the stream, that blossom rare Whose leaves the river hurries to the sea.

There the blest souls with one accord unite To hymn in dulcet song their Saviour's praise, And as the chanting quire their voices raise They tread with shining feet the lilies bright.

Yea, e'en the spirits of the lost, that dwell Where the black stream of sullen Acheron flows, Rest on that holy night when Christ arose, And for a while 'tis holiday in Hell.

No sun from ocean rising drives away Their darkness, with his flaming shafts far-hurled, But from the cross of Christ o'er that wan world There streams the radiance of a new-born day.

The sulphurous floods with lessened fury glow, The aching limbs find respite from their pain, While, in glad freedom from the galling chain, The tortured ghosts a short-lived solace know.

In holy gladness let this night be sped, As here we gather, Lord, to watch and pray; To Thee with one consent our vows we pay And on Thy altar set the sacred Bread.

From pendent chains the lamps of crystal blaze; By fragrant oil sustained the clear flame glows With strength undimmed, and through the darkness throws High o'er the fretted roof a golden haze,

As 'twere Heaven's starry floor our wondering eye Beheld, wherein the Bears their light display, Where Phosphor heralds the approach of day And Hesper's radiance floods the evening sky.

Meet is the gift we offer here to Thee, Father of all, as falls the dewy night; Thine own most precious gift we bring—the light Whereby mankind Thy other bounties see.

Thou art the Light indeed; on our dull eyes And on our inmost souls Thy rays are poured; To Thee we light our lamps: receive them, Lord, Filled with the oil of peace and sacrifice.

O hear us, Father, through Thine only Son, Our Lord and Saviour, by Whose love bequeathed The Paraclete upon our hearts has breathed, With Him and Thee through endless ages one.

Through Christ Thy Kingdom shall for ever be, Thy grace, might, wisdom, glory ever shine, As in the Triune majesty benign He reigns for all eternity with Thee.



VI. HYMNUS ANTE SOMNUM

Ades Pater supreme, quem nemo vidit unquam, Patrisque sermo Christe, et Spiritus benigne.

O Trinitatis huius 5 vis una, lumen unum, Deus ex Deo perennis, Deus ex utroque missus.

Fluxit labor diei, redit et quietis hora, 10 blandus sopor vicissim fessos relaxat artus.

Mens aestuans procellis curisque sauciata totis bibit medullis 15 obliviale poclum.

Serpit per omne corpus Lethaea vis, nec ullum miseris doloris aegri patitur manere sensum. 20

Lex haec data est caducis Deo iubente membris, ut temperet laborem medicabilis voluptas.

Sed dum pererrat omnes 25 quies amica venas, pectusque feriatum placat rigante somno:

Liber vagat per auras rapido vigore sensus, 30 variasque per figuras, quae sunt operta, cernit.

Quia mens soluta curis, cui est origo caelum, purusque fons ab aethra 35 iners iacere nescit.

Imitata multiformes facies sibi ipsa fingit, per quas repente currens tenui fruatur actu. 40

Sed sensa somniantum dispar fatigat horror, nunc splendor intererrat qui dat futura nosse.

Plerumque dissipatis 45 mendax imago veris animos pavore maestos ambage fallit atra.

Quem rara culpa morum non polluit frequenter, 50 nunc lux serena vibrans res edocet latentes.

At qui coinquinatum vitiis cor inpiavit, lusus pavore multo 55 species videt tremendas.

Hoc patriarcha noster sub carceris catena geminis simul ministris interpres adprobavit. 60

Quorum reversus unus dat poculum tyranno, ast alterum rapaces fixum vorant volucres.

Ipsum deinde regem 65 perplexa somniantem monuit famem futuram clausis cavere acervis.

Mox praesul ac tetrarches regnum per omne iussus 70 sociam tenere virgam dominae resedit aulae.

O quam profunda iustis arcana per soporem aperit tuenda Christus, 75 quam clara! quam tacenda!

Evangelista summi fidissimus magistri signata quae latebant nebulis videt remotis: 80

ipsum tonantis agnum de caede purpurantem, qui conscium futuri librum resignat unus.

Huius manum potentem 85 gladius perarmat anceps et fulgurans utrimque duplicem minatur ictum.

Quaesitor ille solus animaeque corporisque 90 ensisque bis timendus prima ac secunda mors est.

idem tamen benignus ultor retundit iram paucosque non piorum 95 patitur perire in aevum.

Huic inclitus perenne tribuit Pater tribunal, hunc obtinere iussit nomen supra omne nomen. 100

Hic praepotens cruenti extinctor antichristi, qui de furente monstro pulchrum refert tropaeum.

Quam bestiam capacem 105 populosque devorantem, quam sanguinis charybdem Ioannis execratur.

Haec nempe, quae sacratum praeferre nomen ausa est, 110 imam petit gehennam Christo perempta vero.

Tali sopore iustus mentem relaxat heros, ut spiritu sagaci 115 caelum peragret omne.

Nos nil meremur horum, quos creber inplet error, concreta quos malarum vitiat cupido rerum. 120

Sat est quiete dulci fessum fovere corpus: sat, si nihil sinistrum vanae minentur umbrae.

Cultor Dei memento 125 te fontis et lavacri rorem subisse sanctum, te chrismate innotatum.

Fac, cum vocante somno castum petis cubile, 130 frontem locumque cordis crucis figura signet.

Crux pellit omne crimen, fugiunt crucem tenebrae: tali dicata signo 135 mens fluctuare nescit.

Procul, o procul vagantum portenta somniorum, procul esto pervicaci praestigiator astu! 140

O tortuose serpens, qui mille per Maeandros fraudesque flexuosas agitas quieta corda,

Discede, Christus hic est, 145 hic Christus est, liquesce: signum quod ipse nosti damnat tuam catervam.

Corpus licet fatiscens iaceat recline paullum, 150 Christum tamen sub ipso meditabimur sopore.



VI. HYMN BEFORE SLEEP

Draw near, Almighty Father, Ne'er seen by mortal eye; Come, O Thou Word eternal, O Spirit blest, be nigh.

One light of threefold Godhead, One power that all transcends; God is of God begotten, And God from both descends.

The hour of rest approaches, The toils of day are past, And o'er our tired bodies Sleep's gentle charm is cast.

The mind, by cares tormented Amid life's storm and stress, Drinks deep the wondrous potion That brings forgetfulness.

O'er weary, toil-worn mortals The spells of Lethe steal; Sad hearts lose all their sorrow, Nor pain nor anguish feel.

For to His frail creation God gave this law to keep, That labour should be lightened By soft and healing sleep.

But while sweet languor wanders Through all the pulsing veins, And, wrapt in dewy slumber, The heart at rest remains,

The soul, in wakeful vigour, Aloft in freedom flies, And sees in many a semblance The hidden mysteries.

For, freed from care, the spirit That came from out the sky, Born of the stainless aether, Can never idle lie.

A thousand changing phantoms She fashions through the night, And 'midst a world of fancy Pursues her rapid flight.

But divers are the visions That night to dreamers shows; Rare gleams of straying splendour The future may disclose;

More oft the truth is darkened, And lying fantasy Deceives the affrighted sleeper With cunning treachery.

To him whose life is holy The things that are concealed Lie open to his spirit In radiant light revealed;

But he whose heart is blackened, With many a sin imbued, Sees phantoms grim and ghastly That beckon and delude.

So in the Egyptian dungeon The patriarch of old Unto the king's two servants Their fateful visions told:

And one is brought from prison The monarch's wine to pour, One, on the gibbet hanging, Foul birds of prey devour,

He warned the king, distracted By riddles of the night, To hoard the plenteous harvests Against the years of blight.

Soon, lord of half a kingdom, A mighty potentate, He shares the royal sceptre And dwells in princely state.

But ah! how deep the secrets The holy sleeper sees To whom Christ shows His highest, Most sacred mysteries.

For God's most faithful servant The clouds were rolled away, And John beheld the wonders That sealed from mortals lay.

The Lamb of God, encrimsoned With sacrificial stains, Alone the Book can open That destiny contains.

By His strong hand is wielded A keen, two-edged brand That, flashing like the lightning, Smites swift on either hand.

Before His bar of judgment Both soul and body lie; He whom that dread sword smiteth The second death shall die.

Yet mercy tempers justice, And few the Avenger sends (Whose guilt is past all pardon) To death that never ends.

To Him the Father yieldeth The judgment-seat of Heaven; To Him a Name excelling All other names is given.

For by His strength transcendent Shall Antichrist be slain, And from that raging monster Fair trophies shall He gain:

That all-devouring Dragon, With blood of martyrs red, On whose abhorred power John's solemn curse is laid.

And thus the proud usurper Of His high name is cast By Him, the true Christ, vanquished To deepest hell at last.

Upon the saint heroic Such wondrous slumber falls That, in the spirit roaming, He treads heaven's highest halls.

We may not, in our weakness, To dreams like these aspire, Whose souls are steeped in error And evil things desire.

Enough, if weary bodies In peaceful sleep may rest; Enough, if no dark powers Our slumbering souls molest.

Christian! the font remember, The sacramental vow, The holy water sprinkled, The oil that marked thy brow!

When at sleep's call thou seekest To rest in slumber chaste, Let first the sacred emblem On breast and brow be traced.

The Cross dispels all darkness, All sin before it flies, And by that sign protected The mind all fear defies.

Avaunt! ye fleeting phantoms That mock our midnight hours; Avaunt! thou great Deceiver With all thy guileful powers.

Thou Serpent, old and crafty, Who by a thousand arts And manifold temptations Dost vex our sleeping hearts,

Vanish! for Christ is with us; Away! 'tis Christ the Lord: The sign thou must acknowledge Condemns thy hellish horde.

And, though the weary body Relaxed in sleep may be, Our hearts, Lord, e'en in slumber, Shall meditate on Thee.



VII. HYMNUS IEIUNANTIUM



O Nazarene, lux Bethlem, verbum Patris, quem partus alvi virginalis protulit, adesto castis Christe parsimoniis, festumque nostrum rex serenus adspice, ieiuniorum dum litamus victimam. 5

Nil hoc profecto purius mysterio, quo fibra cordis expiatur uvidi, intemperata quo domantur viscera, arvina putrem ne resudans crapulam obstrangulatae mentis ingenium premat. 10

Hinc subiugatur luxus et turpis gula, vini atque somni degener socordia, libido sordens, inverecundus lepos, variaeque pestes languidorum sensuum parcam subactae disciplinam sentiunt. 15

Nam si licenter diffluens potu et cibo ieiuna rite membra non coerceas, sequitur frequenti marcida oblectamine scintilla mentis ut tepescat nobilis, animusque pigris stertat in praecordiis. 20

Frenentur ergo corporum cupidines, detersa et intus emicet prudentia: sic excitato perspicax acumine liberque flatu laxiore spiritus rerum parentem rectius precabitur. 25

Elia tali crevit observantia, vetus sacerdos, ruris hospes aridi: fragore ab omni quem remotum et segregem sprevisse tradunt criminum frequentiam, casto fruentem syrtium silentio. 30

Sed mox in auras igneis iugalibus curruque raptus evolavit praepete, ne de propinquo sordium contagio dirus quietum mundus adflaret virum, olim probatis inclitum ieiuniis. 35

Non ante caeli principem septemplicis Moyses tremendi fidus interpres throni potuit videre, quam decem recursibus quater volutis sol peragrans sidera omni carentem cerneret substantia. 40

Victus precanti solus in lacrimis fuit: nam flendo pernox inrigatum pulverem humi madentis ore pressit cernuo, donec loquentis voce praestrictus Dei expavit ignem non ferendum visibus. 45

Ioannis huius artis hand minus potens, Dei perennis praecucurrit filium, curvos viarum qui retorsit tramites et flexuosa conrigens dispendia dedit sequendam calle recto lineam. 50

Hanc obsequelam praeparabat nuntius mox adfuturo construens iter Deo, clivosa planis, confragosa ut lenibus converterentur, neve quidquam devium inlapsa terris inveniret veritas. 55

Non usitatis ortus his natalibus oblita lactis iam vieto in pectore matris tetendit serus infans ubera: nec ante partu de senili effusus est, quam praedicaret virginem plenam Deo. 60

Post in patentes ille solitudines amictus hirtis bestiarum pellibus setisve tectus hispida et lanugine secessit, horrens inquinari et pollui contaminatis oppidorum moribus. 65

Illic dicata parcus abstinentia potum cibumque vir severae industriae in usque serum respuebat vesperum, parvum locustis et favorum agrestium liquore pastum corpori suetus dare. 70

Hortator ille primus et doctor novae fuit salutis, nam sacrato in flumine veterum piatas lavit errorum notas: sed tincta postquam membra defaecaverat, caelo refulgens influebat spiritus. 75

Hoc ex lavacro labe dempta criminum ibant renati non secus, quam si rudis auri recocta vena pulchrum splendeat, micet metalli sive lux argentei, sudum polito praenitens purgamine. 80

Referre prisci stemma mine ieiunii libet fideli proditum volumine, ut diruendae civitatis incolis fulmen benigni mansuefactum Patris pie repressis ignibus pepercerit. 85

Gens insolenti praepotens iactantia pollebat olim, quam fluentem nequiter conrupta vulgo solverat lascivia, et inde bruto contumax fastidio cultum superni negligebat numinis. 90

Offensa tandem iugis indulgentiae censura iustis excitatur motibus, dextram perarmat rhompheali incendio nimbos crepantes et fragosos turbines vibrans tonantum nube flammarum quatit. 95

Sed paenitendi dum datur diecula, si forte vellent inprobam libidinem veteresque nugas condomare ac frangere, suspendit ictum terror exorabilis paullumque dicta substitit sententia. 100

Ionam prophetam mitis ultor excitat, paenae inminentis iret ut praenuntius, sed nosset ille qui minacem iudicem servare malle, quam ferire ac plectere, tectam latenter vertit in Tharsos fugam. 105

Celsam paratis pontibus scandit ratem, udo revincta fune puppis solvitur, itur per altum, fit procellosum mare: tum causa tanti quaeritur periculi, sors in fugacem missa vatem decidit. 110

Iussus perire solus e cunctis reus, cuius voluta crimen urna expresserat, praeceps rotatur et profundo inmergitur: exceptus inde beluinis faucibus alvi capacis vivus hauritur specu. 115

* * * * *

Intactus exin tertiae noctis vice monstri vomentis pellitur singultibus, qua murmuranti fine fluctus frangitur, salsosque candens spuma tundit pumices, ructatus exit seque servatum stupet. 130

In Ninivitas se coactus percito gressu reflectit, quos ut increpaverat pudenda censor inputans opprobria; Inpendet, inquit, ira summi vindicis, urbemque flamma mox cremabit, credite. 135

Apicem deinceps ardui montis petit visurus inde conglobatum turbidae fumum ruinae cladis et dirae struem, tectus flagellis multinodis germinis, nato et repente perfruens umbraculo. 140

Sed maesta postquam civitas vulnus novi hausit doloris, heu supremum palpitat: cursant per ampla congregatim moenia plebs et senatus, omnis aetas civium, pallens iuventus, eiulantes feminae. 145

Placet frementem publicis ieiuniis placare Christum, mos edendi spernitur, glaucos amictus induit monilibus matrona demptis, proque gemma et serico crinem fluentem sordidus spargit cinis. 150

Squalent recincta veste bullati patres, setasque plangens turba sumit textiles, inpexa villis virgo bestialibus nigrante vultum contegit velamine, iacens arenis et puer provolvitur. 155

Rex ipse Coos aestuantem murices laenam revulsa dissipabat fibula, gemmas virentes et lapillos sutiles, insigne frontis exuebat vinculum turpi capillos inpeditus pulvere. 160

Nullus bibendi, nemo vescendi memor, ieiuna mensas pubis omnis liquerat, quin et negato lacte vagientium fletu madescunt parvulorum cunulae, sucum papillae parca nutrix derogat. 165

Greges et ipsos claudit armentalium sollers virorum cura, ne vagum pecus contingat ore rorulenta gramina, potum strepentis neve fontis hauriant, vacuis querelae personant praesepibus. 170

Mollitus his et talibus brevem Deus iram refrenat temperans oraculum prosper sinistrum, prona nam clementia haud difficulter supplicem mortalium solvit reatum fitque fautrix flentium. 175

Sed cur vetustae gentis exemplum oquor? pridem caducis cum gravatus artubus Iesus dicato corde ieiunaverit, praenuncupatus ore qui prophetico Emanuel est, sive NOBISCUM DEUS. 180

Qui corpus istud molle naturaliter captumque laxo sub voluptatum iugo virtutis arta lege fecit liberum: emancipator servientis plasmatis regnantis ante victor et cupidinis. 185

Inhospitali namque secretus loco quinis diebus octies labentibus nullam ciborum vindicavit gratiam, firmans salubri scilicet ieiunio vas adpetendis inbecillum gaudiis. 190

Miratus hostis posse limum tabidum tantum laboris sustinere ac perpeti, explorat arte sciscitator callida, Deusne membris sit receptus terreis, sed increpata fraude post tergum ruit. 195

Hoc nos sequamur quisque nunc pro viribus, quod consecrati tu magister dogmatis tuis dedisti Christe sectatoribus, ut, cum vorandi vicerit libidinem, late triumphet inperator spiritus. 200

Hoc est, quod atri livor hostis invidet, mundi polique quod gubernator probat, altaris aram quod facit placabilem, quod dormientis excitat cordis fidem, quod limat aegram pectoris rubiginem. 205

Perfusa non sic amne flamma extinguitur, nec sic calente sole tabescunt nives, ut turbidarum scabra culparum seges vanescit almo trita sub ieiunio, si blanda semper misceatur largitas. 210

Est quippe et illud grande virtutis genus operire nudos, indigentes pascere, opem benignam ferre supplicantibus, unam paremque sortis humanae vicem inter potentes atque egenos ducere. 215

Satis beatus quisque dextram porrigit, laudis rapacem, prodigam pecuniae, cuius sinistra dulce factum nesciat: illum perennes protinus conplent opes, ditatque fructus faenerantem centuplex. 220



VII. HYMN FOR THOSE WHO FAST

O Jesus, Light of Bethlehem, True Son of God, Incarnate Word; Thou offspring of a Virgin's womb, Be present at our frugal board; Accept our fast, our sacrifice, And smile upon us, gracious Lord.

For by this holiest mystery The inward parts are cleansed from stain, And, taming all the unbridled lusts, Our sinful flesh we thus restrain, Lest gluttony and drunkenness Should choke the soul and cloud the brain.

Hence appetite and luxury Are forced their empire to resign; The wanton sport, the jest obscene, The ignoble sway of sleep and wine, And all the plagues of languid sense Feel the strict bonds of discipline.

For if, full fed with meat and drink, The flesh thou ne'er dost mortify, The mind, that spark of sacred flame, By pleasure dulled, must fail and die, And pent in its gross prison-house The soul in shameful torpor lie.

So be thy carnal lusts controlled, So be thy judgment clear and bright; Then shall thy spirit, swift and free, Be gifted with a keener sight, And breathing in an ampler air To the All-Father pray aright.

Elias by such abstinence, Seer of the desert, grew in grace, Who left the madding haunts of men And found a peaceful resting-place, Where, far from sinful crowds, he trod The pure and silent wilderness.

Till by those fiery coursers drawn The swift car bore him through the air, Lest earth's defiling touch should mar The holiness it might not share, Or some polluting breath disturb The peace attained by fast and prayer.

Moses, through whom from His dread throne The will of God to man was told, No food might touch till through the sky The sun full forty times had rolled, Ere God before him stood revealed, Lord of the heavens sevenfold.

Tears were his meat, while bent in prayer Through the long night he bowed his head E'en to the thirsty dust, that drank The drops in bitter weeping shed; Till, at God's call, he saw the flame No eye may bear, and was afraid.

The Baptist, too, was strong in fast— Forerunner in a later day Of God's Eternal Son—who made The byepaths plain, the crooked way A road direct, wherein His feet Might travel on without delay.

This was the messenger's great task Who for God's advent zealously Prepared the way, the rough made smooth, The mountain levelled to the sea; That, when Truth came from heaven to earth, All fair and straight His path should be.

He was not born in common wise, For dry and wrinkled was the breast Of her that bare him late in years, Nor found she from her labour rest, Till she had hailed with lips inspired The Maid with unborn Godhead blest.

For him the hairy skins of beasts Furnished a raiment rude and wild, As forth into the lonely waste He fared, an unbefriended child, Who dwelt apart, lest he should be By evil city-life defiled.

There, vowed to abstinence, he grew To manhood, and with stern disdain He turned from meat and drink, until He saw night's shadow fall again; And locusts and the wild bees' store Sufficed his vigour to sustain.

The first was he to testify Of that new life which man might win; In Jordan's consecrating stream He purged the stains of ancient sin, And, as he made the body clean, The radiant Spirit entered in.

Forth from the holy tide they came Reborn, from guilt's pollution free, As bright from out the cleansing fire Flows the rough gold, or as we see The glittering silver, purged of dross, Flash into polished purity.

Now let us tell, from Holy Writ, Of olden fasts the fairest crown; How God in pity stayed His hand, And spared a doomed and guilty town, In clemency the flames withheld And laid His vengeful lightnings down.

A mighty race of ancient time Waxed arrogant in boastful pride; Debauched were they, and borne along On foul corruption's loathsome tide, Till in their stiff-necked self-conceit They e'en the God of Heaven denied.

At last Eternal Mercy turns To righteous judgment, swift and dire; He shakes the clouds; the mighty sword Flames in His hand, and in His ire He wields the roaring hurricane 'Mid murky gloom and flashing fire.

Yet in His clemency He grants To penitence a brief delay, That they might burst the bonds of lust And put their vanities away; His sentence given, He waits awhile And stays the hand upraised to slay.

To warn them of the wrath to come The Avenger in His mercy sent Jonah the seer; but,—though he knew The threatening Judge would fain relent Nor wished to strike,—towards Tarshish town The prophet's furtive course was bent.

As up the galley's side he climbed, They loosed the dripping rope, and passed The harbour bar: then on them burst The sudden fury of the blast; And when their peril's cause they sought, The lot was on the recreant cast.

The man whose guilt the urn declares Alone must die, the rest to save; Hurled headlong from the deck, he falls And sinks beneath the engulfing wave, Then, seized by monstrous jaws, is plunged Into a vast and living grave.

* * * * *

At last the monster hurls him forth, As the third night had rolled away; Before its roar the billows break And lash the cliffs with briny spray; Unhurt the wondering prophet stands And hails the unexpected day.

Thus turned again to duty's path To Nineveh he swiftly came, Their lusts rebuked and boldly preached God's judgment on their sin and shame; "Believe!" he cried, "the Judge draws nigh Whose wrath shall wrap your streets in flame."

Thence to the lofty mount withdrew, Where he might watch the smoke-cloud lower O'er blasted homes and ruined halls, And rest beneath the shady bower Upspringing in swift luxury Of twining tendril, leaf and flower.

But when the guilty burghers heard The impending doom, a dull despair Possessed their souls; proud senators, Poor craftsmen, throng the highways fair; Pale youth with tottering age unites, And women's wailing rends the air.

A public fast they now decree, If they may thus Christ's anger stay: No food they touch: each haughty dame Puts silken robes and gems away, In sable garbed, and ashes casts Upon her tresses' disarray.

In dark and squalid vesture clad The Fathers go: the mourning crowd Dons rough attire: in shaggy skins Enwrapped, fair maids their faces shroud With dusky veils, and boyish heads E'en to the very dust are bowed.

The King tears off his jewelled brooch And rends the robe of Coan hue; Bright emeralds and lustrous pearls Are flung aside, and ashes strew The royal head, discrowned and bent, As low he kneels God's grace to sue.

None thought to drink, none thought to eat; All from the table turned aside, And in their cradles wet with tears Starved babes in bitter anguish cried, For e'en the foster-mother stern To little lips the breast denied.

The very flocks are closely penned By careful hands, lest they should gain Sweet water from the babbling stream Or wandering crop the dewy plain; And bleating sheep and lowing kine Within their barren stalls complain.

Moved by such penitence, full soon God's grace repealed the stern decree And curbed His righteous wrath; for aye, When man repents, His clemency Is swift to pardon and to hear His children weeping bitterly.

Yet wherefore of that bygone race Should we anew the story tell? For Christ's pure soul by fasting long The clogging bonds of flesh did quell; He Whom the prophet's voice foretold As GOD WITH US, Emmanuel.

Man's body—frail by nature's law And bound by pleasure's easy chain— He freed by virtue's strong restraint, And gave it liberty again: He broke the bonds of flesh, and Lust Was driven from his old domain.

Deep in the inhospitable wild For forty days He dwelt alone Nor tasted food, till, thus prepared, All human weakness overthrown By fasting's power, His mortal frame Rejoiced the spirit's sway to own.

The Adversary, marvelling To see this creature of a day Endure such toil, spent all his guile To learn if God in human clay Had come indeed; but soon rebuked Behind His back fled shamed away.

Therefore let each with all his might Follow the way the Master taught, The law of consecrated life Which Christ unto His servants brought; Till, with the lusts of flesh subdued, The spirit reigns o'er act and thought.

'Tis this our jealous foe abhors, 'Tis this the Lord of earth and sky Approves; by this the soul is made Thy holy altar, God Most High: Faith stirs within the slumbering heart And sin's corroding power must fly.

Swifter than water quenches fire, Swifter than sunshine melts the snow, Crushed out by soul-restoring fast Vanish the sins that rankly grow, If hand in hand with Abstinence Sweet Charity doth ever go.

This too is Virtue's noble task, To clothe the naked, and to feed The destitute, with kindly care To visit sufferers in their need; For king and beggar each must bear The lot by changeless Fate decreed.

Happy the man whose good right hand Seeks but God's praise, and flings his gold Broadcast, nor lets his left hand know The gracious deed; for wealth untold Shall crown him through eternal years With usury an hundredfold.



VIII. HYMNUS POST IEIUNIUM

Christe servorum regimen tuorum, mollibus qui nos moderans habenis leniter frenas facilique septos lege coerces:

ipse cum portans onus inpeditum 5 corporis duros tuleris labores, maior exemplis famulos remisso dogmate palpas.

Nona submissum rotat hora solem partibus vixdum tribus evolutis, 10 quarta devexo superest in axe portio lucis.

Nos brevis voti dape vindicata solvimus festum fruimurque mensis adfatim plenis, quibus inbuatur 15 prona voluptas.

Tantus aeterni favor est magistri, doctor indulgens ita nos amico lactat hortatu, levis obsequela ut mulceat artus. 20

Addit et, ne quis velit invenusto sordidus cultu lacerare frontem, sed decus vultus capitisque pexum comat honorem.

Terge ieiunans, ait, omne corpus, 25 neve subducto faciem rubore luteus tinguat color aut notetur pallor in ore.

Rectius laeto tegimus pudore, quidquid ad cultum Patris exhibemus: 30 cernit occultum Deus et latentem munere donat.

Ille ovem morbo residem gregique perditam sano male dissipantem vellus adfixis vepribus per hirtae 35 devia silvae.

Inpiger pastor revocat lupisque gestat exclusis humeros gravatus, inde purgatam revehens aprico reddit ovili: 40

Reddit et pratis viridique campo, vibrat inpexis ubi nulla lappis spina, nec germen sudibus perarmat carduus horrens:

Sed frequens palmis nemus et reflexa 45 vernat herbarum coma, tum perennis gurgitem vivis vitreum fluentis laurus obumbrat.

Hisce pro donis tibi, fide pastor, servitus quaenam poterit rependi? 50 nulla conpensant pretium salutis vota precantum.

Quamlibet spreto sine more pastu sponte confectos tenuemus artus, teque contemptis epulis rogemus 55 nocte dieque;

Vincitur semper minor obsequentum cura, nec munus genitoris aequat, frangit et cratem luteam laboris grandior usus. 60

Ergo ne limum fragilem solutae deserant vires et aquosus albis humor in venis dominetur aegrum corpus inervans,

Laxus ac liber modus abstinendi 65 ponitur cunctis, neque nos severus terror inpellit, sua quemque cogit velle potestas.

Sufficit, quidquid facias, vocato numinis nutu prius, inchoare, 70 sive tu mensam renuas cibumve sumere temptes.

Adnuit dexter Deus et secundo prosperat vultu, velut hoc salubre fidimus nobis fore, quod dicatas 75 carpimus escas.

Sit bonum, supplex precor et medelam conferat membris, animumque pascat sparsus in venas cibus obsecrantum christicolarum. 80



VIII. HYMN AFTER FASTING

O Christ, of all Thy servants Guide, Mild is the yoke Thou mak'st us bear, Leading us gently by Thy side With gracious care.

Thy love took up our life's hard load And spent in grievous toils its might: Thy bond-slaves tread the easier road Led by Thy light.

Nine hours have run their course away, The sun sped three parts of its race: And what remains of the short day Fadeth apace.

The holy fast hath reached its end; Our table now Thou loadest, Lord: With all Thy gifts true gladness send To grace our board.

Such is our Master's gentle sway, So kind the teaching in His school, That all find rest who will obey His easy rule.

Thou would'st not have us scorn the grace Of cleanliness and vesture fair: Thou lovest not a soiled face And unkempt hair.

Let him that fasts, Thou saidst, be clean, Nor lose health's fair and ruddy glow: Let no wan sallowness be seen Upon his brow.

'Tis better in glad modesty Of our good works to shun display: God sees what 'scapes our neighbour's eye And will repay.

That Shepherd keen seeks one lost sheep Sickly and weak, strayed from the fold, Fleece torn with briers of thickets deep, Foolishly bold.

He drives the wolves far from the track: And found He brings on shoulders borne To sunlit pen the wanderer back, No more forlorn:

Yea, to the meads and grassy fields The lamb restores, where no thorn balks, No rough burrs tear, no thistle yields Its bristling stalks:

But leaves of green herbs brightly glance And in the grove the palm-trees dream, And laurels shade the eddying dance Of crystal stream.

For all these gifts, O Shepherd dear, What service can I render Thee? No grateful vows my debt shall clear For love so free.

Though by self-chosen fasts severe Our strength of limb we waste away: Though, spurning food, we Thee revere By night and day:

Yet our works never can o'ertake Thy love or with Thy gifts compare: Our toils this earthen vessel break, The more we dare.

Therefore lest failing powers consume Our fragile life and shrivelled veins Pale 'neath the tyranny of rheum And weakening pains:

Thou dost not rule perpetual Lent For man, nor modest fare deny: Fearless may each unto his bent His wants supply.

Enough that all our acts by prayer Be sanctified unto Thy will, Whether we fast, or with due care Our needs fulfil.

Then shall God bless us for our good And lead us to our soul's true wealth; For, if but consecrated, food Shall bring us health.

O Lord, grant that our feast may spread Marrow and strength throughout our flesh: And may all Christly souls be fed With vigour fresh.



IX. HYMNUS OMNIS HORAE

Da puer plectrum, choreis ut canam fidelibus dulce carmen et melodum, gesta Christi insignia: hunc camena nostra solum pangat, hunc laudet lyra.

Christus est, quem rex sacerdos adfuturum protinus infulatus concinebat voce, chorda et tympano, 5 spiritum caelo influentem per medullas hauriens.

Facta nos et iam probata pangimus miracula, testis orbis est, nec ipsa terra, quod vidit, negat, cominus Deum docendis proditum mortalibus.

Corde natus ex parentis, ante mundi exordium 10 alpha et O cognominatus, ipse fons et clausula omnium, quae sunt, fuerunt quaeque post futura sunt.

Ipse iussit et creata, dixit ipse, et facta sunt terra, caelum, fossa ponti, trina rerum machina, quaeque in his vigent sub alto solis et lunae globo. 15

Corporis formam caduci, membra morti obnoxia induit, ne gens periret primoplasti ex germine, merserat quam lex profundo noxialis tartaro.

O beatus ortus ille, virgo cum puerpera edidit nostram salutem feta sancto spiritu, 20 et puer redemptor orbis os sacratum protulit.

Psallat altitudo caeli, psallite omnes angeli, quidquid est virtutis usquam psallat in laudem Dei: nulla linguarum silescat, vox et omnis consonet.

Ecce quem vates vetustis concinebant seculis, 25 quem prophetarum fideles paginae spoponderant, emicat promissus olim: cuncta conlaudent eum.

Cantharis infusa lympha fit Falernum nobile, nuntiat vinum minister esse promptum ex hydria, ipse rex sapore tinctis obstupescit poculis. 30

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