Last week I translated the first three stanzas of Sedulius’s abecedarian hymn A solis ortus cardine (A, B, C). For this week, I’ve done the next three (D, E, F). I’ve included the first three as well, and will plan to continue that practice in the future, adding the new stanzas to what I have done previously. But that problem is for later. I hope you’re edified.
A solis ortus cardine
ad usque terrae limitem
Christum canamus principem
natum Maria virgine.
Beatus auctor saeculi
servile corpus induit,
ut carne carnem liberans
non perderet quod condidit.
Clausae puellae viscera
caelestis intrat gratia;
venter puellae baiulat
secreta quae non noverat.
Domus pudici pectoris
templum repente fit Dei;
intacta nesciens virum
verbo creavit filium.
Enixa est puerpera,
quem Gabrihel praedixerat,
quem matris alvo gestiens
clausus Iohannes senserat.
Faeno iacere pertulit,
praesepe non abhorruit,
parvoque lacte pastus est,
per quem nec ales esurit.
Afar from rising of the sun
Unto the limit of the earth,
The Christ, our prince, now let us sing–
His holy Mary-virgined birth.
Behold: the author of the world,
Though blessed, is clothed in slave’s attire,
In order flesh by flesh to free
And save his creatures from the mire.
Concealed within the maiden’s womb,
The grace of heaven enters in;
Her belly does not know it bears
The secret saving us from sin.
Domained in Mary’s modesty,
God makes a temple of her breast.
How strange! Untouched, the girl brought forth
Her Son, the Word-created guest.
Ere long her labor bore the King
Whom Gabriel had once foretold,
Whom John’s prenatal preaching had
Before proclaimed with leaping bold.
For, sleeping, he did not despise
To take the prickling straw as bed;
A mother’s milk sustained the babe
By whom the birds of heav’n are fed.