For “Melanchthon Monday” this week, we’ve got a new poem–another prayer in verse, this time inspired by the creation account in Genesis 1. Melanchthon’s poem consists of three elegiac couplets. My version, in eight iambic pentameters, is somewhat expanded. I’ve preserved the main image that unifies the original, but have also added another that is easily extrapolated from what he says. Hope you enjoy.
ALIA sumta ex dicto Genes. I. Spiritus DEI fovebat aquas.
Spiritus ut Domini nascentia corpora fovit,
Cum manus artificis conderet ipsa Dei:
Sic foveat coetus, qui Christi oracula discunt,
Accendatque igni pectora nostra suo.
Another prayer, taken from Genesis 1, “The Spirit of God was warming the waters.”
Just as to new-formed bodies being born
The Spirit of the Lord imparted warmth
When demiurgic God with his own hand
Did fashion living things to fill the earth,
So may the Spirit warm Christ’s body now,
And with his holy fire set aflame
Our bodies’ hearts weighed down with earthly cares,
That we might learn the oracles of Christ.