Page images
PDF
EPUB

Magnae Deus potentiae, Qui fertili natos aqua Partim relinquis gurgiti, Partim levas in aera,

s Demersa lymphis imprimens,

Subvecta caelis erigens,
Ut stirpe ab una prodita
Diversa repleant loca.

Hymn 26 Thursday Vespers

Most powerful God, You leave in the deep some of those born of the fruitful water and raise others into the air. You set down in the sea those plunged in the waters and raise up to the heavens those that have been brought up from below and so, though they own one common element, they find their home in sea or sky. Grant to all Your servants whom water and blood have cleansed, not to suffer any fall into sin or to experience sin's loathsomeness. So may it come to pass that none be depressed by his guilt or exalted by pride, that the despondent does not lie defeated or the proud fall headlong to destruction.

Largire cunctis servulis, 10 Quos mundat unda, sanguinis,

Nescire lapsus criminum
Nec ferre mortis taedium,

Ut culpa nullum deprimat,

Nullum efferat jactantia, IS Elisa mens ne concidat,

Elata mens ne corruat.

Hominis superne conditor, Qui cuncta solus ordinans, Humum jubes producere Reptantis et ferae genus,

Hymn 27 Friday Vespers

Heavenly creator of mankind, to whom alone belongs the ordering of the universe, Your decree is that the earth bring forth reptiles and beasts and that the mighty animals, called into life by Your word, obey Your servants at the fixed changes of time and season. Drive away the violent assaults of passion which assail us, whether as an idea which seeks a place in our way of thought or as an act which finds

s Et magna rerum corpora,

Dictu jubentis vivida,
Per temporum certas vices
Obtemperare servulis,

,

Repelle quod cupidinis 10 Ciente vi nos impetit,

Aut moribus se suggerit
Aut actibus se interserit.

Notes on Hymn 26

note.

Author. As 22.

i.e. whom water and blood cleanse. For a case other 20. Dixit etiam Deus: Producant aquae reptile than the nominative used, metri gratia, as a nominaanimae viventis, et volatile super terram sub firmamento tive, cf. vincis sapore nectare (for nectar), 52, 26. For the caeli. 21. Creavitque Deus cete grandia, et omnem sense, cf. unda manat et cruor (original: sanguis, animam viventem atque motabilem, quam produxeruntunda profluit), 53, 20—where a double subject has, as aquae in species suas, et omne volatile secundum genus here, a singular verb. The reference here and in 53 suum. 22. Benedixitque eis, dicens: Crescite et multipli- is to John 19, 34. If sanguinis is a genitive, it excludes camini, et replete aquas maris; avesque multiplicentur the idea of water, which one would expect to be super terram. Gen. 1, 20–2.

mentioned in a hymn about things born of water. 2. Fertili, because water is the common source of 11. nescire; cf. nesciat, 12, 20; lapsus, falls; cf. 11, 27, fishes and birds; natos, obj. of the two verbs through the restricting adverb partim. Original: qui ex aquis 12. taedium, i.e. loathsomeness; or perhaps, ortum genus; cf. Gen. I, 20. Relinquis in 3 is a malice. colourless substitute for remittis.

13. ut ... nullum; final, and equals ne quemquam; 5-6. Lymphis and caelis, datives with imprimens deprimat, submerge, and cf. imprimens in s. and erigens (for the original irrogans, assigning, which 14. efferat, exalt; cf. erigens of 6. better explains the dative), but also to be taken with 15. elisa, the crushed, despondent, soul, and cf. demersa and subvecta. Line s explains line 3, and 6 demersa of s; for elisos cf. Dominus ... erigit elisos, Ps. explains 4.

7. stirpe ... prodita, coming from, owning, one 16. elata; cf. subvecta of 6; ne in superbiam elatus, in common element, cf. line 2; prodita from prodire. judicium incidat diaboli, 1 Tim. 3, 6.

10. sanguinis is probably the equivalent of sanguis,

145, 8.

Notes on Hymn 27

Author. As 22.

forms, corpora, of things, rerum, i.e. the bestiarum and 24. Dixit quoque Deus: Producat_terra animam jumentorum of Genesis, to be subject to ., obtemviventem in genere suo, jumenta et reptilia, et bestias perare. terrae secundum species suas. Factumque est ita ... 26. Et 6. dictu ... vivida, called into life, vivida, sc. ait: Faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem corpora, at the bidding of your command, dictu nostram; et praesit piscibus maris, et volatilibus caeli, et jubentis. This use of the ablative of a verbal substantive bestiis, universaeque terrae, omnique reptili quod movetur is very rare; hence the suggested emendation dicto. in terra. 27. Et creavit Deus hominem ad imaginem suam. 7. per ... vices, through the determined changes ... 28. Benedixitque illis Deus, et ait: Crescite, et multi- of time and season. Temporum, cf. 11, 3; vices, cf. 20, plicamini, et replete terram, et subjicite eam, et dominamini 2. Original: ut serviant per ordinem, which also echoes piscibus maris, et volatilibus caeli, et universis animanti- ordinans of 2. bus, quae moventur super terram. Gen. 1, 24–8.

8. servulis. The diminutive here serves to emphasise 3. humum; referring to terra of Gen. I, 24; jubes man's insignificance in relation to God and his governs producere and obtemperare in 8.

smallness in relation to the magna rerum corpora; 4. reptantis ... genus, the race of creeping things cf. 89, 3, note. Cf. Gen. 1, 26 and 28, and Ecclus. 17, and that of beasts. Reptantis and ferae, sing. for plur., 4. and=reptilia and bestiae of Genesis.

9. repelle. Drive away from us whatever, quod, s. magna .. corpora, (and orders) the mighty attacks, impetit, us ... Or, according to others,

[ocr errors]

E

Da gaudiorum praemia,

itself a place in our actions. Grant us the reDa gratiarum munera,

ward of heavenly joy and the gift of grace on Is Dissolve litis vincula,

earth. Unfasten the chain of strife and give us Astringe pacis foedera.

the peace you promised.

[blocks in formation]

cupidinis as genitive after quod, i.e. any evil desire. immunditiam. This fits into the construction of the

10. ciente vi, i.e. violent, vi, emotion (or even, next two lines, but unkindly confuses size and invitation, incitement) of passion, cupidinis. Ciente, cf. immunditiam. 13, 9, note, carries the idea of calling, summoning. 16. astringe, draw closer; or perhaps, confirm, The idea of the force of passion is derived from the secure. Pacis foedera, bonds of peace, B; better, overpowering strength of the magna rerum corpora. promise of peace; cf. foedus pacis meae non movebitur,

Original of 9-10: Repelle a servis tuis/Quidquid per Is. 54, 10, and percutiam illis foedus pacis, Ezech. 37, 26.

Notes on Hymn 28

Author. Unknown, though it has been ascribed to s. A verb must be supplied out of deprecamur, such St Ambrose. The fact that it has not been received as worship; laudum; this word is ‘at least on its way into the Ambrosian use, the constant use of rhyme to becoming "Lauds”, w. and, one would think, its length seem to indicate that 6. deprecamur, pray, rather than pray that someit was not written by St Ambrose. (For arguments thing be averted. In the revised text it governs ut in on either side, cf. W, Julian and Daniel IV, 48). The the next line. fact that the hymn is so short has been the source of 8. laudemus, the continuation in eternity of the many interpolations in the MSS.

laudum carmine. It echoes the sentiments of the SaturThe unrevised text makes it clear that the hymn is day Lauds hymn, 17, 9-12. The

, prayer of petition, addressed to the Blessed Trinity. The first verse is: deprecamur, will eventually give way to that of praise, O lux beata Trinitas,

laudemus.
Et principalis Unitas,
Jam sol recedit igneus,
Infunde lumen cordibus.

Notes on Hymn 29

Author. Unknown, probably of the seventh 4. praesul, leader, protector, cf. 88, 2. century.

5. procul, cf. 14, 4, note. The body is thought of as The hymn is in daily use at Compline, and dis- a temple, in which uncleanness has no place. placed the older and longer Christe qui lux es et dies. 6. noctium phantasmata, cf. 17, s, note. This latter hymn is still in use among the Dominicans 7. hostem, the devil; the invidi of 12, 14 and the for Compline during Lent (cf. intro. to Lent). diabolus of 1 Peter 5, 8—the passage with which 3. pro, according to, by virtue of.

Compline begins.

S. THE ANTIPHONS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN As their name implies and their musical setting shows, these are not hymns. But they are often included in collections of hymns, and in any case two of them are metri

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »