22 March 2013

Qui solis excellit jubar / Der heller leuchtet denn die Sonn

Here is my translation of “Qui solis excellit jubar” (G. Fabricius), a Reformation-period Latin hymn first appearing in the author’s De historia et meditatione mortis Christi et de usitatis Ecclesiae christianae festis ac temporibus, 1553, and afterwards in his Poemata Sacra, and was included in the Andernach Hymnal. A German cento by Spangenberg was appointed in the Nürnberg hymnal (766 Geistliche Psalmen) to be sung during Passiontide, as an alternate to one of a couple vernacular versions of Gregory's Passion hymn, “Rex Christe factor omnium” [O Christ our King, who all hast made]. The melody appointed by Spangenberg for his German rendering is “Conditor alme siderum.”

The Andernach Hymnal, however, had the following tune (use the alternate ending):

THE LIGHT whose brightness passes far
The beauty both of sun and star,
With stripes disfigured, hangs His head
Upon the cross, and God is dead.

2. The Lord who gives His creatures breath,
And life to those who lie in death,
With arms the crossbeam spanning wide,
Between the thieves is crucified.

3. So wracked with wounds and injured sore,
Our wounds and injury He bore:
He took the sins He had not done,
And thus our remedy He won.

4. The Lamb is lifted on the stock,
The Spotless for the spotted flock:
The worthy Victim who alone
With God the Father can atone.

5. O Christ, our true High Priest and Lord,
Upon the Cross’s altar poured,
Who, dying, didst death’s kingdom scour
And lay to waste his tyrant pow’r:

6. To Thee, Eternal God, we flee,
Our Seat of Mercy fair and free,
Oh, take the sins which here we own,
And cast them to oblivion.

7. By Thee grant us to overthrow
The devil, our salvation’s foe,
The flesh, to stumbling ever prone,
The world, with fruitless pleasures sown.

8. Reach forth Thy tortured arms to take
The pleas that we Thy mourners make,
And to our faithful pray’rs incline
Thy visage bloody and divine.

9. O Life and Hope and Strength, to Thee,
Redeemer, Savior, glory be,
With God the Father on His throne,
And Holy Spirit, God alone.


Translation © 2013 Matthew Carver.

1. Qui solis excellit jubar
Et astra pulchritudine,
Deformis, horridus, lacer
Pendet necatus in cruce.

2. Qui dat creatis spiritum,
Vitamque donat mortuis,
Extendit in ligno manus,
Inter latrones mortuus.

3. Nostro ille laesus scilicet,
Et vulneratus vulnere:
Peccata quae non fecerat,
Seruaret ut nos, pertulit.

4. Agnus levatur stipite,
Pro noxiis innoxius:
Haec sola grata pro reis
Deo parenti victima.

5. O Christe noster, in crucis
Oblatus ara, Pontifex:
Qui morte mortem permeans
Mortis tyrannum destruis.

6. Ad te perennis currimus
Thronum paratum gratiae.
Patrata nobis crimina
Oblivione contere.

7. Per te queamus vincere
Hostem salutis daemonem,
Et omne carnis lubricum,
Ac triste mundi gaudium.

8. Votis gementum porrige,
Distenta ligno brachia,
Preces et ad nostras caput
Tabo reclina lividum.

9. Tu vita, consolatio,
Robur, salus, redemptio,
Tibi, et Parenti, et Flamini
Sacro, canatur gloria.

1. Der heller leuchtet denn die Sonn,
und übertrifft die Sterne schon,
der hänget an dem Kreuz hie tot,
greulich gegeisselt und verspott.

2. Der da die Toten auferweckt,
der haft am Holz hie ausgestreckt,
der allem Ding das Leben schenkt,
am Kreuz tot bei den Mördern hängt.

3. Der hängt am Kreuz verwundet sehr,
verletzt durch unsre Sünden schwer,
der trägt all unser Missethat,
der keine Sünd begangen hat.

4. Zu dem Thron deiner Gnaden wir,
demütig kommen nun zu dir,
und bitten dich durch deine Gnad,
Vergib uns unsre Missethat.

5. Gib, daß der Seelen Feind gedämpft,
der leidig Teufel überkämpft,
die eitel Freud auf dieser Erd,
des Fleisches Lust bezwungen werd.

6. Streck gnädig zu uns deine Arm,
und unsers Seufzens dich erbarm,
dein Blutig Haupt rab zu uns neig,
dich gnädig gegen uns erzeig.

7. Unser Leben und Trost du bist,
bei dir Stärk, Heil und Ablaß ist,
dir Vater, Sohn, Heiliger Geist,
werd ewig Lob und Ehr beweist.


Jay Watson said...

What a beautifully rendered translations...delicate, fluid, and literal. Just wonderful Matthew!

Walter said...

Hi Matt ! Thank you for this excellent translation of the Latin ! Stanza 4 in particular has your unique and captivating phrases on the Lamb 'lifted on the stock': rhyming 'the Spotless for the spotted flock'.
I have a hard copy of the Andernacher Gesangbuch (Cologne 1608/faxsimile) and the interlinear German is totally different. Stanza 4 says, Das unschueldige Laemblein, Vor uns leidet die grosse pein, Am Creuz gibt sich zum Opffer dar, Gott Vater, O Mensch nim das Wahr. [I know: strange spellings]]
Spannenberg's paraphrasing hardly does justice to the depth and expanse of Fabricius' thoughts. You however do them justice.
Blessings for you & yours on this Sacred Triduum.