27 October 2008

Also heilig ist der Tag II

Update: I have found similar tones in some Antiphona ad Magnificat: "omnes qui habeban[t]" (Lk. 4,40; Fer. 5 Hebd. 3 Quad., ad secundas Vesperas) "qui non colligit" (Lk. 11, 23; Fest. 1 Hebd. 3 Quad., ad Tert.) "quod uni ex minimis" (Mt. 25,40; Fer. 2 Hebd. 1 Quad., ad sec. Vesp.s).

Here is my translation of the 3-Stanza version of the previous hymn Also heilig ist der Tag, from the early 17th c., of which only the 1st stanza is pre-Reformation. Note the two last lines of the older versions are missing, but the sense is completed by the last stanza.

The two new stanzas are rather expansions of the 1-stanza version and not further translation of Fortunatus' sequence. The theme is taken over from the chant appointed for the feast of the Resurrection, Psalm 118:24: "This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will rejoice and be glad in it". Stanza 2 expands on the first part, stanza 3 on the last.

The meter compared with the original Leise is thus shorter throughout. I have normalized the meter to + Kyrie except for the 3rd stanza, which is + Kyrie, tying the notes on "Hell".

1. This is such a holy day,
That no man can praise it enough for ay,
Since God's sole-begotten Son,
Who o'erthrew the pow'r of Hell,
Caught the Devil so foul and bound him well.
Kyrie eleison.

2. 'Tis the day that God hath wrought
Life anew our God unto us hath brought—
Us, who in sin's bondage lay,
Doomed to suffer Hell alway,
As the Devil so foul would have us stray.
Kyrie eleison.

3. For this day rejoice and sing,
Since Christ freed us from Hell's suffering;
Take we now His flesh and blood,
For He is our heav'nly food,
And the Passover Lamb so pure and good.
Kyrie eleison.

Translation © 2008 Matthew Carver.

3-stanza version
1. Also heilig ist der Tag,
Daß ihn niemand mit Loben erfüllen mag:
Denn der einige [or wahre] Gottes Sohn,
Der die Hölle überwand, [or zerbrach]
Und den leidigen Teufel darein band.
Kyrie eleison.

2. Solchen Tag hat Gott gemacht,
An dem er uns das Leben herwieder bracht,
Als die Sünd uns g'fangen führt,
Und die Höll' uns gebührt,
Da der leidige Teufel uns verführt.
Kyrie eleison.

3. Den Tag wir sollen fröhlich sein,
Weil uns Christus erlöst von der Höllen Pein.
Laßt uns ihn essen mit Dank und Preis,
Denn er ist unser Speis, [or ...ist der Seelen Speis]
Das rein Osterlämmlein geistlicher Weis. [or Und das reine Osterlamm...]
Kyrie eleison.

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