26 July 2014

Mundi secuta lubrica

Here is my translation of the hymn “Mundi secuta lubrica” (G. Fabricius), for the feast of St. Mary Magdalene. By the example of St. Mary Magdalene, we are consoled in the forgiveness offered and and by Jesus, who freely forgave Mary despite her many sins, when she repented the same, and showed by her actions her faith toward Him who alone has the power to offer such forgiveness and to save from eternal death. The melody is a variant of one of the most common (in many regional forms) assigned for the hymns of later authorship in Reformation cantionals.

SHE who the world’s brief joys pursued,
And flesh’s passions, vile and crude,
In grief a sighing suppliant bowed
To praise the very Son of God.

2. Not daring there to lift her face,
But in the dust with silent grace
She bent, with tears to bathe His feet,
And wipe them with her tresses sweet.

3. To God her heart within her cried,
And faith was deeply stirred inside
Tow’rd Him who tenderly doth own
And not deplore the mourner’s groan.

4. In Christ as God, confiding yet,
Her every hope she firmly set;
Th’ unrighteous to the Righteous prayed,
From sin was loosed, and righteous made.

5. Thee, Christ, we ask with humble plea
To pardon our iniquity;
The Father sent Thee, us to save
And not to lose us to the grave. Amen.

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.
1. Mundi secuta lubrica Blandaeque carnis noxia, Dolendo suspirans Dei Supplex adorat Filium.  
2. Non ausa vultum tollere, Humi recumbit cernua, Pedes rigavit fletibus,Tersitque muta crinibus.  
3. Cor clamat intus ad Deum, Fidesque pulsat intimum, Non abjicit suspiria, Deus pie gementium. 
4. Quae plurimam,_in Jesu Deo, Confisa, spem locaverat, Injusta Justum deprecans, Fit justa, crimen tollitur.  
5. Te, Christe, nostra vox rogat, Remitte, quod peccavimus, Servare nos, non perdere, Tuo_a Parente missus es. Amen.

08 July 2014

Herr, was sind das für Wunden

Here is my translation of the hymn “Herr, was sind das für Wunden” (Gregor Ritzsch, 1622). It is titled “A Spiritual Song on the tokens of Christ’s love, from the Prophet Zechariah 13:6.” The appointed melody is that of “O Christe Morgensterne,” which I give here in two specimens: the earlier tune in Gesius’ cantional of 1605; the newer tune in Witt’s choralbuch, 1731 (which though unknown to Ritzsch, has a very suitable character). (See Fischer I, 440.; Kümmerle II, 456–8.)

“O LORD, of wounds what manner
Are these Thy hands that mar?”
—“Your sins and your dishonor
Have made Me many a scar;
And these the tokens are.”

2. —“But Lord, I thought we ever
Have been Thy people dear,
And did Thee ev’ry favor,
And never once while here
Made Thee to shed a tear.”

3. —”What answer may I offer?
My friends whom I loved true
Required Me thus to suffer:
The wounds upon Me view
Were not they wrought by you?”

4. —”Alas, what cause for mourning
Sweet Jesus Christ, my Lord,
Are all Thy wounds and scorning
Which we did Thee afford
Whom Thou hast e’er adored!”

5. —“Yea, ye have Me afflicted
And caused me toil and hell;
Ye sinned; I was convicted,
Your sinning to dispel.
Then mark these tokens well.”

6. —”All praise, O Lord be giv’n Thee,
For all Thy grief and pain;
Thy love it was hath driv’n Thee
For us such stripes to gain;
All glory Thine remain. Amen.”

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

1. Herr, was sind das für Wunden
in deinen Händen zart?
“Das haben eure Sünden
Gemacht, daß ich so hart
und sehr geschlagen ward.”

2. Dacht ich doch, Herr, wir wären
als deine lieben Leut,
die dic stets täten Ehren
und dir zu keiner Zeit
zufügten einig Leid.

3. “Ich kann nicht anders sagen:
Im Haus der Lieben mein
bin ich also geschlagen.
Seht an die Striemen mein,
ob sie nicht von euch sein?”

4. Ach das ist zu beweinen,
Süsser Herr Jesu Christ,
daß du so von den Deinen,
die du liebst jeder Frist,
verwundt und gschlagen bist.

5. “Ja, mir habt ihr Arbeite
und große Muh gemacht:
für ewre Sünd ich leide,
daß der nicht werd gedacht.
Solchs nehmt in gute Acht.”

6. Lob sei dir, Herr, gesungen
für alle Schmerzen dein,
daß dich dein Lieb gezwungen
für uns in solche Pein:
Ehr sei dem Namen dein, Amen.

03 July 2014

Walther's Hymnal $15 off

Concordia Academic, the CPH Academics Blog has kindly posted an excerpt of my book, Walther's Hymnal, a complete translation of the hymns of Missouri Synod's first German hymnal. Check out my translation of the Magnificat paraphrase (in honor of the Visitation yesterday). Also, the book is on sale at $15 off until the 6th of July. Go here to find out how to take advantage of the discount. You can also read some reviews on Amazon. —MC.

07 June 2014

Sancti Spiritus adsit nobis gratia (new translation)

Here is my revised, rhymed translation of the Whitsunday Sequence "Sancti Spiritus adsit nobis gratia" (Notker, 10th c.).

MAY the Holy Ghost
 On us shed His heav’nly grace!

2a. And for His pure indwelling
Make in our hearts a holy place,
2b. By purging and expelling
From thence all vices and disgrace.

3a. Spirit of kindness,
True Enlightener of men!
3b. Banish our blindness,
Clear the gloomy shades of sin.

4a. Chaste Friend of wisdom, e’er appointing
Prudent thoughts to fill the mind,
4b. In mercy by Thy blest anointing
Make our thoughts to Thine aligned.

5a. Thou Spirit of cleansing, for whose pow’r
No shame or wickedness can stay,
5b. The eye of our inward Adam scour,
Whatever impairs it cleanse away.

6a. Spirit Holy,
So grant us to espy
God the Father high,
6b. Who may solely
By such a heart be seen
As is pure and clean.

7a. The prophets by Thee were driven
As the heralds of heaven
To sing the glorious Savior’s birth;
7b. Th’ Apostles, by Thine inspiring
As Christ’s army untiring
His banner brought o’er all the earth.

8a. When in creation
God all did fashion—
Earth and heaven
And the oceans by His Word—
8b. Then Thou extending
Thy grace impending,
Pow’r was given,
And upon the deep outpoured.

9a. Thy breath of living
To waters giving,
Thou dost life endue;
9b. By breezes tender,
Men Thou dost render
Spirits live and new.

10a. Thou, O Lord, hast united
Men once divided
In their rites and languages,
10b. Called them from evil pastures
O Best of Masters,
Back to proper, godly praise.

11a. Wherefore, Spirit all-gracious,
Be Thou propitious,
Hear Thy servants who implore Thee here,
11b. For without Thee, our praying
Empty and straying,
Is unworthy of God’s holy ear.

12a. Thou who didst embrace
Saints of ev’ry nation,
With the heav’nly grace
Of Thy pure exhalation,—
Throughout time a host to raise—
12b. Thou didst on this day
To th’ Apostles’ station
Wondrous gifts convey,
Known to no generation,
Without like in means and ways,

13. Conferring
  On this day such glorious praise.

(14. May the Holy Ghost
On us shed His heav’nly grace.)

Translation © 2011, 2014 Matthew Carver.

1. Sancti Spiritus
adsit nobis gratia:

2a. Qui corda nostra sibi
faciat habitaculum.
2b. Expulsis inde cunctis
vitiis spiritabilis,

3a. Spiritus alme
Illustrator hominum,
3b. Horridas nostrae
mentis purga tenebras,

4a. Amator sancte sensatorum,
semper cogitatuum.
4b. Infunde unctionem tuam
clemens nostris sensibus.

5a. Tu purificator omnium
flagitiorum Spiritus.
5b. Purifica nostri oculum
interioris hominis.

6a. Ut videri
supremus Genitor
possit a nobis.
6b. Mundi cordis
quem soli cernere
possunt oculi.

7a. Prophetas tu inspirasti,
ut praeconia Christi
praecinuissent inclyta.
7b. Apostolos confortasti,
uti trophaeum Christi
per totum mundum veherent.

8a. Quando machinam
per verbum suum
fecit Deus
coeli, terrae, marium.
8b. Tu super aquas
foturus eas,
numen tuum
expandisti Spiritus.

9a. Tu animabus
aquas foecundas.
9b. Tu aspirando
das spiritales
esse homines.

10a. Tu divisum per linguas
mundum et ritus
adunasti, Domine.
10b. Idolatras ad cultum
Dei revocas
Magistrorum optime.

11a. Ergo nos supplicantes
tibi exaudi
propitius sancte Spiritus.
11b. Sine quo preces omnes
cassae creduntur
et indignae Dei auribus.

12a. Tu qui omnium
saeculorum sanctos,
Tui numinis,
docuisti instinctu
amplectendo, Spiritus.
12b. Ipse hodie
Apostolos Christi
donans munere
insolito et cunctis
inaudito seculis.

13. Hunc diem
gloriosum fecisti.

14. Sancti Spiritus adsit
nobis gratia.

22 May 2014

Fest und hoch auf dem Thron

Here is my translation of V. Triller's hymn for the Ascension, "Fest und hoch auf dem Thron," a translation of the traditional hymn for Vespers in Ascensiontide, "Festum nunc celebre" (Theodulf, early 9th c. - I translated that last year). Many old translations existed for this hymn of unusual meter (Asclepiads and Gliconics, which I have adapted to a final stressed syllable). Another translation, by the Bohemians, is "Christi Auffahrt und Erhöhung." The first melody is the original Latin one from Bezelius (Magdeburg 1613), the second is a simplified version of the Soprano line (melody line) as found in the 18th c. Pforta school hymnal, Hymnorum precumque formulae ad Portensium Alumnorum usum (Leipzig, 1777).

Image from Bezelius 659

Transcription from Hymnorum Precumque formulae . . . pp. 52f.

SEATED high on the Throne,
Glorious is Christ the Son,
  Clothed in bright majesty
  Brilliant in Deity,
Now His realm He hath set
Firm against ev'ry threat,
  And Satan, who had bound us fast.

2. Leading by His decree
Captive captivity,
  He doth the Spirit send,
  Men in their need to mend,
And His gifts to bestow,
That in all truth we go,
  And to console in every ill.

3. Satan's works to defy,
And poor man to supply
  With His protection sure,
  Preachers He doth secure,
O'er the earth for us men
Christendom to sustain
  By Holy Word and Sacrament.

4. As with dauntless ascent
He into glory went;
  So He cometh again
  With His angelic train,
Hailed the Champion of might,
Judgment to pass as right,
  And give to all their just reward.

5. Jesus Christ, Lord and God,
King o'er the heavens broad
  And the earth Thou hast made:
  Graciously lend Thine aid,
That we may ever be
Lifting our hearts to Thee
  Awaiting here Thy glad return.

6. Praise to God be assigned,
Who hath so loved mankind
  That He gave us His Son,
  To be our Mercy-Throne,
That by Him who doth reign
We might His Spirit gain,
  And go His blessedness to know.

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

1. Fest und hoch auf dem Thron
pranget des Menschen Sohn
in seiner Herrlichkeit
mit Göttlicher Klarheit,
hat sein Reich aufgericht
wider den Bösewicht,
der uns so hart gebunden hielt.

2. Nahm gefangen herrlich
das Gefängnis mit sich,
und schickt uns seinen Geist,
daß er uns Beistand leist,
und seine Gaben schenkt,
in alle Wahrheit lenkt
und tröstet uns in aller Not.

3. Der dem Satan zu Trotz
und uns armen zum Schutz
richt auf das Predigamt
und gibt uns allesamt
sein Wort und Sakrament
in aller Welte End,
damit er uns erhalten will.

4. Wie er mit Freidigkeit
aufsteig zur Herrlichkeit,
so wird er kommen dar
mit aller Engel Schaar
als ein mächtiger Held,
wird richten alle Welt
und geben jederem seinen Lohn.

5. O Herr Gott, Jesu Christ,
der du ein König bist
über Himmel und Erd:
Hilf gnädig deiner Heerd,
daß sie stets inniglich
ihr Herz haben auf dich
und deiner Zukunft nehmen wahr.

6. Lob sei dem wahren Gott
der uns also lieb hat
und gibt uns seinen Sohn
zu einem Gnadenthron,
daß wir durch ihn am meist
erlangen seinen Geist
und kommen so zur Seligkeit.