“To Christ, Born at Night”: An Epigram by Henrik Harder

‘Tis the season, and I’ve got a new translation to share.

Below is an epigram on the birth of Christ by the Danish Neo-Latin poet Henrik Harder (1642-1683), which comes from Book 1 of his Epigrammatum libri tres (1679).

The Latin poem consists of two elegiac couplets. I have rendered it into English with four couplets of rhyming iambic tetrameters. Hope you enjoy it.


Nocturno tempore natum.

Nasceris in mediis, o lux mea Solque tenebris,

    Nox fugit insolitum nescia ferre iubar.

Cum medio tegit ora die Sol moesta minatur,

    Sol noctu visus laetius omen erat.

“To Christ, Born at Night”

O Son of God, my light and sun,

In midst of darkness comes your birth,

Whose unaccustomed luster drives

The night from now resplendent earth.

When in the middle of the day 

Our mundane sun conceals his face,

It omens ill; the heavenly Son

When seen at night betokens grace.


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