“The Hero Crossed the Brook Kidron”: Georg Fabricius, Hymns 1.4

Herewith the fourth poem in the hymn cycle of Georg Fabricius (Hymn 1; Hymn 2; Hymn 3). All our appropriate for this week’s commemoration of our Lord’s Passion.

Once again, I have translated his iambic dimeters into English iambic tetrameters on an ABCB pattern. Enjoy!

The Latin text:

Conticinium. ALTERA PARS NOCTIS. Historia Horti.

CHRISTUS EXIENS IN montana Oliveta.

Psal. XXII. Ne discesseris a me, quoniam latio proxima est: quoniam non est qui adiuvet.


Trans Kidron Heros exiit,
    Montemque Oliveti petit
    Maerens, amicis cum tribus,
    Certaminis non inscius.
Noctis potestas emicat,
    Furorque gliscit improbus,
    Unum miserrimi caput
    Telis petitum est omnibus.
Tu Christe nostros dirige
    Gressus, acerbo tempore.
    Pergamus, et malum tuo
    Vincamus omne numine.
Vis noctis hinc eat: nigri
    Metus facessat Tartari.
    Hostis, potente dextera,
    Ignita frange spicula.

In English:

Evening. The Second Part of the Night. The History of the Garden.

Christ Going Out to the Mount of Olives

Psalm 22: “Do not depart from me, since trouble is near, since there is no one to help.”

At the ninth hour.

The hero crossed the brook Kidron

     And sought the mountain Olivet

     With three disciples, grieving for

     The duel He would fight with Death.

Night’s raging terror flashes forth,

     A swelling darkness visible;

     The Man of Sorrows now is sought

     By weapons and the spite of all.

Direct, as You once suffered here,

     Our footsteps in the bitter day,

     O Christ, and let us, by Your might,

     Defeat the Tempter’s worldly sway.

Let power of night withdraw itself;

     Let hell’s black dread from us depart.

     With strong hand crush our enemy;

     Extinguish all his fiery darts.


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