This week for “Melanchthon Monday,” we once again…aren’t getting Melanchthon. Instead, here are the next three stanzas (G, H, I) of Sedulius’s hymn A solis ortus cardine.
The first stanza (G) would have been particularly appropriate for last week, which was Gaudete Sunday. But, alas, you had to wait until today.
The third presents us with our first instance of a problem I mentioned in the initial post, viz., the fact that the Latin alphabet is shorter than the English, such that an abecedarian translation in English would be missing a few stanzas in the target language.
I’m still uncertain how to solve this problem, or whether it should be attempted. But I’ve given it a shot. The first missing letter is “J,” and so I started the second line of the “I” stanza with a “J” to sneak it in. Anyway, hope you enjoy it. There’s a bit more that I want to say about a stanza or two of this, and I may do that in a future post.
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.
Gaudet chorus caelestium
et angeli canunt Deum,
palamque fit pastoribus
pastor, creator omnium.
Hostis Herodis impie,
Christum venire quid times?
non eripit mortalia,
qui regna dat caelestia.
Ibant magi qua venerant
stellam sequentes praeviam;
lumen requirunt lumine,
Deum fatentur munere.
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.
“Good tidings!” chant celestial choirs
Of angels as God’s praises ring.
To shepherds now is manifest
The Shepherd who made everything.
How, Herod, can your hostile mind
Greet his arrival with dismay?
He gives eternal realms and does
Not grasp at kingdoms of a day.
Incensed conversely Magi came,
Judea’s star their mystic guide.
By light they seek the light; their gift
Declares that God with man abides.