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King Lear, iv., 5 (6).
Line 1, 2. Media vita in morte sumus, in the midst of life we are in death-in the realm of death, temporal and spiritual.
“Unicuique mortalium sub quotidianis vitae huius casibus innumerabiles mortes quodammodo comminantur.”—AUGUSTINE, De Civ. Dei, 1, 9; MONE, 1, 398.
** Thy root is ever in its grave,
Off or in heaven. They know not it is in
"But, above all, believe it, the sweetest canticle is, 'Nunc dimittis,' when a man hath obtained worthy ends and expectations." —Bacon, Essay on Death.
HYMN II. In Daniel, 2, 5; Wackernagel, 1, 69. Translation, or version, by Luther, “Gelobet seist Du, Jesu Christ;" in English, by Schaff, Christ in Song, p. 53. It is used as a sequence after the hymn at cock-crow on Christmas. Wackernagel attributes it to Gregory.
HYMN III. In Daniel, 2, 3; Wackernagel, 1, 95. It is used as a sequence at the same place in the service as Hymn II.
Line 4. Maris stella, Star of the sea, i. e., the Virgin Mary. This is the earliest use of this name known. It took strong hold of the imagination of the Christian world; see the next hymn.Gandia, Christ, used like the English Joy, for the person who gives joy; see examples in the Lexicon.–5. Quem, Christ: the antecedent is gaudia, by synesis. H., 445, 5; A. and G., 48, 2, b.
6. Coluber: Rev. xii., 9.—7. Ovis: Luke xv., 4; Matt. xviii., 12.
-9. Drachma: Luke xv., 8.–15. Pastor pius: John X., 11.Galeam: Eph. vi., 17.
XVII. AUCTOR INCERTUS. The following hymn is ascribed to Fortunatus, (see page 64) by Wackernagel, after Thomasius; Daniel places it in the 6th-9th century, Mone later still.
THE HYMN. In Daniel, 1, 204 ; Mone, 2, 216; Wackernagel, 1, 67; all the Breviaries. Hymns unnumbered have been made in Latin, German, and other languages, in imitation of it, or on its suggestion. In English, the Evening Hymn of Mrs. Hemans is most familiar. Mrs. Charles gives a prose translation in Christ. Life in Song, p. 207.
Theme. The Virgin Mary.
Line 1. Maris stella: There was a great fondness for making proper names significant in the early Church, and as they knew no Hebrew, they sought the meanings in Latin. They took Maria to be from mare, the sca. The two leading texts were gregationes aquarum appellavit Maria. Et vidit Deus quod esset bonum,” Gen. i., 10; “super maria fundavit eum,” Psalm xxiii., 2. The Virgin Mary is accordingly the sea with many carly poets:
“Omnes rivi cursim fluunt,
Auct. INCERT., xiv. Cent.
She is also often spoken of as a star, the sun, the moon. The two figures are fused in stella maris. “Sicut stella praestat ducatum nautis ut veniant ad portum, ita ducatu virginis Mariae venimus ad portum, i. e., ad Christum.” Hilarius, in Daniel, 1, 205.— 4-8. The comparison of Eve with the Virgin is very common from the time of Irenaeus. Then it was suggested that the name Eva was a mystical forerunner of the salutation of Gabriel, by which the virgiu was made to conceive. See note on p. 249, line 2: "Deus per angelum,” etc. And finally the word of salutation ave was interpreted as from a, ab, and vae,
The stanza means, “ Conceiving Christ by the Ave from the mouth of Gabriel, give us firm peace with God, changing the word Eva to Ave, the wholesome token of Christ.”—12. Pray for
S.-13. Matrem, mother of us all, as of John. John xix., 26, 27. -14. Sumat agrees with the antecedent of qui, Christ.
XVIII. ROBERTUS, REX. Life.- ROBERT II., son of Hugh Capet, born 971, succeeded his father on the throne of France, 997. His life is at hand in histories and dictionaries. “Sismondi (Hist. des Français, iv., 98) brings him very vividly before us in all the beauty of his character, and also in all his evident unfitness, a man of gentleness and peace, for contending with the men of iron by whom he was surrounded.” Trench, p. 195. He got himself excommunicated by the pope by marrying his second cousin, and had many sore troubles, both domestic and public. He was a composer of music as well as of hymns. He died in 1031.
THE HYMN. In Daniel, 2, 35; Mone, 1, 244; Wackernagel, 1, 105; Trench, p. 196 ; and in most modern Breviaries and collections. There are also many translations in many languages : in English, by Mrs. Charles, Christian Life in Song, p. 185; Hymns of the Ages, p. 51; the Seven Great Hymns, p. 126. It is often mentioned as next in rank among hymns to the “Dies Irae”—first in “ loveliness," as that is first in terror.
Theme. The Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
Line 2. Coelitus, adv., p. 282.-3. Hymn I., p. 218.–4. Pater pauperum: Matt. v., 3.—8, 9. Dulcis: “Gustemus saltem, quam suavis est Dominus, quia dedit nobis pignus Spiritum, in quo sentiamus eius dulcedinem et desideremus ipsum vitae fontem,
ubi sobria ebrietate inundemur et irrigemur.” Augustine, De Agone Christi, 10; Mone, 1, 245.–17. Nihil: Trench suggests quicquid.—19. Lava, riga: John iii., 5; Isaiah xliv., 3 ; xxxv., 6, 7. -24. Sana: Luke x., 33, 34.–25. Da septenarium. See (p. 77, VI., line 9) Septiformis, and the note upon it, p. 260.
XIX. PETRUS DAMIANI. Life.—PETER (PIETRO) DAMIANI was born at Ravenna, 1002. He was the intimate friend of Hildebrand, afterward Pope Gregory VII., and was made by him cardinal-bishop of Ostia, 1057. He was a zealous helper in the reformation of the Church by Hildebrand, whom yet he called Sanctus Satanas. He laid down the cardinal's hat, and spent some years of retirement as abbot of Santa Croce d'Abellano before he died, 1072. He wrote much Latin verse, of which the hymn“De Gaudiis Paradisi,” given on p. 45, is best known.
HYMN I. In Daniel, 1, 224; Königsfeld, Lat. Hymnen und Gesänge, 1, 112; Trench, p. 278. Translations by Dr. Neale, Mediaeval Hymns, p. 52; E. C. Benedict, in Schaff's Christ in Song, p. 640. Neale speaks of it as “ This awful hymn, the ‘Dies Irae' of individual life.”
Theme. The Day of Death.
Line 10. Partes, parties, companies.—11. Virtutes: Romans viii., 38; Coloss. i., 16; a use frequent in the hymns.—12. Propius, nearer than the other party to the dying man.—Meritum, his desert.-23. Lutum :
“Lord, who hast formed me out of mud.”—GEORGE HERBERT. - Pervolvitur, it welters.—24. Ut carcerati : supply solvuntur laetabundi, i. e., rejoice when freed.—26. Dirae Pestis, Satan.Incursant, make raids, beset the road.—27. Et diversa, etc.= Vitii cuiusque, etc., line 30.—33. Ab pudore, from, i. e., by reason of the disgrace of the enemy.-36. Dracontēa: adjective formed from draco, and meaning of or belonging to a dragon. It is in the last edition of White and Riddle's Latin Dict.—38, 39. His (spiris).—42. Ius, right, power.–43. Pars. See line 10.–45. Where I may enjoy thee, the cause of life, for ages. Königsf. Others read videndi for vivendi: Where by reason of seeing thee, I may enjoy (thee or life) for ages.
HYMN II. In Daniel, 1, 223; Königsfeld, 2, 150 ; the Breviarium Roma
It may interest the student to see how much of this hymn he can find in former hymns. Compare especially the Paschal hymns of Ambrose, XI., XII., p. 33, 34.
Line 37-39. See p. 236, note on line 3 of Hymn XI.—48. Fla. mini, the Spirit. Flamen:flo :: Spiritus : spiro.
HYMN III. In Daniel, 1, 225; Königsfeld, 2, 154. Theme. Paul.
Line 1. Doctor egregie. See p. 250, 251, notes on the hymn of Elpis, lines 5, 13.—2. The Greek service for February 15 has IIaŭlog oálmiyš Oia. Chrysostom, De Terrae motu, 9, calls him Λύρα του πνεύματος. Konrad of Gaming calls Peter and Paul Binae tubae argenteae. Mone, 3, 93.
" Tuba Domini, Paule, maxima,
De coelestibus dans tonitrua,
ABELARD, in Trench, p. 207.
The trumpets of silver were used for calling the assembly (Num. x., 2), and for the heartening of the people against their enemies (Num. X., 9; xxxi., 6).—3. Nubes : Qui sunt isti qui ut nubes volant? Isaiah lxx., 8. A passage often applied to the apostles. See p. 185, III., 2, and note.-10. 2 Cor. xii., 2–4.–13. Luke viii., 11.-17, Acts xiii., 47.
XX. MARBOD. Life.—MARBOD, born in 1035, of an illustrious family in Anjou, was chosen bishop of Rennes in 1095, and having governed his diocese with admirable prudence for thirty years, died in 1125. He left a large amount of Latin poetry, in great part versi