29 September 2013

Summe Rex Christe (Summi regis archangele)

Here is my translation of the Sequence for Michaelmas according to Keuchenthal, et al (1573), as corrected by Bonnus from the original Latin (probably of Alcuin or Notker). The corrections in the middle and end represent quite a departure, and distort the meter of the original. I have restored that meter in the translation, but followed Bonn’s sense. I include the Latin in corrected form and original below.
 CHRIST, HIGH King of all the angel company!
1b. We beseech Thee, hear our voices raised to Thee.

2a. Thee we confess o’er every other,
The Head of all the heav’nly progeny;
2b. Oh, intercede before Thy Father
To send us help in need and misery.

3a. By the Father Thou art given
As a Prince all pow’r from heaven
Sinful souls to save, and to deliver us.
3b. We beseech Thee, who hast made us:
Send Thy holy hosts to aid us
Let them hedge us round about and cover us,

4a. Lest the world and Satan
Have the pow’r to do us harm,
And from the one true faith our spirit charm;
4b. But Thy Word let prosper,
And be taught in truth aright,
As it is taught before God’s holy sight.

5a. Guard us by Thine angels’ keeping,
In waking and in sleeping,
Keep our hearts humble all,
Lest in presumption we should slip and fall,
5b. As of old the wicked devil
With all his spirits evil
Fell from their heav’nly claim,
And angels good foul demons thus became.

6a. Hear us, O Christ, true God,
Mighty Redeemer:
From every wicked plot
And the deceiver
Keep and preserve us ’neath Thy shelt’ring wing
Through the true angels who forever sing,
6b. “Salvation to the King,
Our Lord forever!”
Our highest thanks we bring
To God the Father,
Who gave us wretches Christ, and in life’s ill
By all His holy angels keeps us still,——and forever.

Translation © 2013 Matthew Carver.


1a. Summe Rex Christe Angelorum omnium.
1b. Intende quaesumus nostris precibus.

2a. Te namque profitemur esse
supernorum civium Principem.
2b. Tu Patrem obsecrà pro nobis
ut mittat auxilium miseris.

3a. Principalis est potestas
a Patre tibi donata,
peccantes salvificare animas.
3b. Ut jubeas, petimus,
Angelos sanctos pro nobis
agere excubias omni tempore,

4. Ne quid Satan et mundus
nocere nobis possint,
in his quae sunt verae fidei.
4b. Et ut tuum verbum
feliciter recteque doceatur,
tanquam in conspectu Dei.

5a. Fac ut Angelorum praesidio

servemur in humilitate spiritus,
ne in praesumptionem prolabamur.
5b. Sic enim pravi spiritus
e coelis olim ceciderunt, 

ex Angelis bonis mali facti Daemones.

6a. Audi nos, Christe redemptor,
et defende nos

contra fallaces
horum insidias,

per Angelos pios, qui semper canunt,
6b. Laus sit Regi Domino.
Agimus summas coelesti
gratias Patri, qui Christum
pro nobis dedit,
et per sanctos Angelos
tuetur nos miseros in tantis malis hujus vitae.

1a. Summi Regis archangele Michahel
1b. Intende quaesumus nostris precibus.
2a. Te namque profitemur esse
 supernorum principem civium.
2b. Tu Deum obsecra pro nobis
 ut mittat auxilium miseris.

3a. Principalis est potestas
 a Domino tibi data
peccantes salvificare animas.
3b. Idem tenes perpetuo
 principatum paradisi
omnes civis te honorant superi.

4a. Tu in templo Dei
turibulum aureum
visus es habuisse manibus.
4b. Inde scandens vapor
aromatum plurimus
pervenit ante conspectum Dei.

5a. Quando cum dracone magnum
perfecisti proelium
faucibus illius
animas abstraxisti plurimas.
5b. Hinc maximum agebatur
in caelo selentium
milia milium
dicebant salus regi Domino.

6a. Audi nos, Michahel,
angele summe
huc parum descende
de poli sede
nobis ferendo opem Domini
atque levamen indulgentiae
6b. Tu nostros Gabrihel
hostes prosterne;
tu Raphahel, aegris
affer medelam,
morbos absterge, noxas minue,
nosque fac interesse gaudiis (7.)  beatorum.

1 comment:

Walter said...

Thanks again Matt:I can appreciate your unique accomplishment here. It was no easy feat getting both a rhythm & rhymne our of even Bonn's amendments
A real quality evangelical and doctrinal translation. So suitable for a Plainsong Choir Book.
It calls for prayerful thought and repentance in this Harvest Season of the year .