29 August 2013

Psallite Regi nostro, psallite

Here is my translation of the sequence “Psallite Regi nostro, psallite” for the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist. The text, originally by Gottschalk (Gottescalcus), I take in its slightly amended form, along with the music, from Ludecus (1589) p. 29ff., which represents a transposition from the original mode.

SING PRAISES! Sing ye praises to our King!
Sing praises! Sing praises, wisely sing!

2. For the psalt’ry mild
Meets the harp with a joyful tone
2b. As the Virgin’s child
By the barren one’s child is known.

3a. His body sounding,
He strummed in the temple of the Lord,
3b. In manhood proving
What first he confessed by infant chord.

4a. By mortifying
Members and body
That earthly are, and teaching others in this,
4b. A folk supplying
For Christ made ready,
John was the voice that cried in the wilderness.

5a. Yet though that Voice accused,
Vicious Herod still refused
In goodness to be taught.
5b. Never that Voice was stilled:
Even till John’s blood was spilled,
Ever that foe he fought:

6a. “It is not lawful to rob thy brother
And for thy spouse take that of another,
Sin’s passions then smother!
From thine error turn.
Do not God’s commandment spurn!”
6b. As a deaf serpent, Herod would harm him
Who with his voice seeks wisely to charm him.
The king, to disarm him,
Doth the prophet find,
And within his prison bind.

7a. John in gloom reclineth,
Lamplike he shineth,
Friend of all light’s true Patrician.
7b. Herod, sin accruing,
Worldy joys pursuing,
Proves but the son of perdition

8a. The harlot spurreth,
Her daughter twirleth,
The King demands the saint beheaded,
8b. And to his daughter
Serveth the slaughter,
The saintly head of him he dreaded.

9a. But how doth the righteous perish,
As though God His saint did not cherish?
9b. Such a death is ever precious
In the sight of God, who is gracious.

10a. In spirit we well perceive,
Great was the saint we grieve!
So akin in his work, behavior,
And death, to His Savior.
10b. For just as to death of shame
They would the Bridegroom damn,
They the friend of the Bridegroom rightly
Damn to death unsightly.

11a. From bondage carnal
To heav’n eternal
High swinging,
The angels bore that angel singing,
11b. Grant us, o Jesus,
To sing Thee praises
In honor
Of St. John Thy Forerunner,

12. That, having spurned Herod’s table,
We also may be able
At Thy feast to receive Thee,
And all praise ever give Thee.

Translation © 2013 Matthew Carver.

In die decollationis Johannis Baptistae Sequentia
de Gottschalk

1. Psallite Regi nostro, psallite,
psallite, psallite prudenter.

2a. Nam psalterium
est jucundum cum cithara,
2b. Nato virginis,
quo psallens natus sterilis.

3a. Citharam carnis
percussit in domo Domini.
3b. Dum, quod sonabat
clamando, docuit vivendo,

4a. Mortificando,
quae super terram sunt, membra
et hoc alios docendo,
4b. Praeparans Christo
plebem perfectam Johannes,
vox clamantis in deserto.

5a. Sed vox haec impium
Herodem, quem corripit,
minime corrigit.
5b. Haud tamen tacuit,
sed ad usque sanguinem
sceleri restitit.

6a. Non licet, inquit, te fratris tui
habere conjugem, raptam ei: [=sibi]
peccasti, quiesce:
sic praecepit Dominus.
6b. Vocem incantantis sapienter
Herodes, ut aspis surda, spernit:
ut justum, ut sanctum
Johannem timet,
quem vinxit in carcere.

7a. Sedet in tenebris
lucerna, lucis
amicus omnipotentis.
7b. Studet deliciis
mundi principis
filius perditionis.

8a. Meretrix suadet,
puella saltat,            [nata precatur,]
Rex jubet,
sanctus decollatur.
8b. Dat rex saltanti
caput Johannis,
qui sanctus
ante fit, quam natus.

9a. En, quomodo perit justus,
quasi non sit Deo dilectus,
9b. Cum sit ejus pretiosa
mors haec in conspectu Domini.

10a. Nos corde percipimus,
qualis et quantus est,
quia vicinus dignitate     [convicinus…]
Christo fit [sit] et morte.
10b. Nam morte turpissima
damnatur sponsus, et                    (L. has “sponsus, spon- // si et…’)
sponsi amicum damnant recte
morte turpissima.

11a. Carcere carnis
ductum, quem ferunt
coelis Angeli Angelum.
11b. Et nos in terris
tibi psallere
fac, Christe,
in memoriam Baptistae.

12. Herodis spreta
quo mensa
altaris tui mensa
ipsum te, dum sumimus,
semper tibi psallamus.

21 August 2013

Congaudent angelorum

Here is my translation of “Congaudent angelorum,” sung by the church as the Sequence for the Assumption (et al.), as corrected by Hermann Bonnus and found in Ludecus’ cantionale (1589). Included with Bonnus’ Latin are the variants from the original text before the evangelical corrections. These consist mainly of amending Marian adoration to reverence (in accord, e.g., with early councils), and, toward the end of the Sequence, redirecting invocatory language from Mary to Christ. Interestingly, this Sequence was general for the Assumption throughout German lands, whereas the Sarum use employed three special Sequences along with the other Marian ones throughout the Octave.

IN COMMON celebration
Angels joy in Mary glorified,

2a. Who without relation
Of mortal man, her Son supplied,
2b. Who restores creation
By His body’s healing tide.

3a. For now this Virgin’s heart rejoices
To see the Man as heaven’s Prince
3b. That once amid the manger noises
Received from her His sustenance.

4a. How angels sing the splendor
 Of Jesus’ mother, Mary honoring!
4b. Who, owning fealty, render
Their faithful service to Her Son, the King.

5a. How brightly in heaven
They the virgin maid revere,
  Whose body was given
To their Lord a lodging dear,
And as a chamber free from stain!
5b. How fair is the shining
Of the sea-star in the heights, Who, humbly inclining,
Bore the Light above all lights,—
Light of all spirits, stars, and men!

6a. The King of all heaven,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
  By all His humble church adored,
6b. Who ever is given
Songs of sweet accord,
  With all the hosts on high outpoured.

7a. Whom sacred scriptures sweetly frame,
Prophets as in chorus joyful name,
Clerics and apostles jointly
And the holy martyrs all proclaim,
7b.  Whom man and maiden own the Way,
With their crosses foll’wing day to day,
Both in faith and true affection
Emulating saints above the fray.

8a. All Thy church, in spirit soaring,
Thee with hymns adoring,
Calling Thee most highly prized,
8b. Faith before Thee thus revealing,
Humbly to Thy heart appealing,
  Beseeches Thee to hear, O Jesus Christ,

9. That Thou wouldst forever deign
From Thy Father to obtain
Help by Thy pray’rs all-availing.

Translation © 2013 Matthew Carver.

1. Congaudent angelorum
chori gloriosae Virgini,

2a. Quae sine virili
commixtione genuit
2b. Filium qui suo
mundum cruore medicat.

3a. Nam ipsa laetatur,
quod caeli iam conspicatur Principem.
3b. In terris cui quondam
sugendas Virgo mammillas praebuit.

4a. Quam celebris angelis
Maria Jesu mater creditur.
4b. Qui Filii illius
debitos se cognoscunt famulos. [debito…] V

5a. Quam fulgida in caelis [Qua gloria…]
ista Virgo cernitur, […colitur]
quae Domino caeli
praebuit hospitium
sui sanctissimi corporis.
5b. Quam splendida polo
stilla maris rutilat,  [stella…]* (I have used the original reading here)
quae omnium lumen
astrorum et hominum
atque spirit[u]um genuit.

6a. Jesum Christum caeli Regem, [Te caeli regina]
quem plebecula [haec plebicula]
piis concelebrant mentibus.
6b. Quem cantu melodo [Te … melodos]
super aethera
una cum angelis elevat.

7a. Quem libri sacri concinunt, [Te libri virgo…]
Prophetarum chorus jubilat,
sacerdotum Apostoli,
sanctique martyres praedicant. [Christique …]
7b. Quem plebis sexus sequitur, [Te plebes…]
utriusque vitam diligens
Christianam caelicolas [virginalem…]
in dilectione aemulans. [in castimonia…]

8a. Ecclesia ergo cuncta
Te cordibus Teque
carminibus venerans. […celebrat]
8b. Tibi suam manifestat
devotionem precatu
Te supplici implorans, Jesu Christe. [… implorans Maria]

9. Ut sibi auxilio
circa patrem Dominum  […Christum…]
esse digneris per aevum.

17 August 2013

O Gott Vater, gebenedeit in Ewigkeit

Here is my translation of the hymn “O Gott Vater, gebenedeit in Ewigkeit” (M. Weiße, 1531), a hymn of the “church militant” and prayer against the enemies of Christendom. The melody is an adaptation of “Ave maris stella,” as found in Kirchengeseng (1566, 1580, etc.).

O GOD OUR Father, blessèd in eternity,
This day in mercy all our troubles see,
Behold how many rivals seek our life,
And with all cunning cause us strife!

2. The evil foe about us prowls without a pause
And like a lion roars and spreads his jaws,
Makes every effort to consume us whole,
In deadly sin to drown our soul.

3. If ever he cannot succeed to make us err,
He sets about, the world to goad and stir,
And makes them eager to despise Thy grace
And fall upon Thy flock apace.

4. No less will this our flesh allow our spirit peace,
But wreaks confusion and will never cease;
It fights the spirit, mastery to gain,
And make it fear eternal pain.

5. Oh, to this spirit, ever by the flesh waylaid,
And calling Thee in trouble for Thine aid,
Grant pow’r, that it may never conquered lie,
But overcome and stand on high!

6. Our foes are Satan, flesh, the world, and Antichrist:
And day and night our spirit must resist
Their potent poison, wrath, and cunning deed,
Lord God, assist us in our need!

7. Oh, clothe us with the noble armor of Thy truth,
That in Thy way we walk in age and youth.
Confirm us in the faith, in trust, and love,
Lest Satan e’er our ruin prove.

8. Unfold Thy heart, O Lord, and make Thy mercy plain
And help us over ev’ry sin to reign,
And o’er the evil foe and all his horde;
Thy name be worshiped and adored.

9. Amen, we sing with fervent hearts in unity.
O Father, of Thy love and kindness free,
Through Jesus Christ, Thy dearest Son,
Grant us Thy help while ages run.

Translation © 2013 Matthew Carver.

1. O Gott Vater, gebenedeit in Ewigkeit,
sieh heut an durch deine Barmherzigkeit,
wie so viel Feind nach unsrem Leben stehn,
und sehr listig mit uns umgehn.

2. Der böse Feind geht ohn Unterlaß um uns her,
brummet als ein grimmiger Löw und Bär,
tut Fleiß, daß er uns lebendig verschlind,
fället in Irrtum und Todsünd.

3. Wo er durch sich selbest an uns nichts schaffen kann,
so geht er und hetzet alle Welt an,
daß sie mit Frevel deine Gnad veracht,
und sich mit Grimm an dein Volk macht.

4. So läßt auch das Fleisch unsrem Geiste keine Ruh,
sondern richtet ihm viel Ungemach zu,
krieget mit ihm und will sein Herre sein,
und der fürchtet ewige Pein.

5. Diesem Geist, der mit dem Fleische kämpft allezeit,
und in Nöten um Beistand zu dir schreit,
verlieh Kraft, daß er ihm nicht unterlieg,
sondern frei überwind und sieg.

6. Unser Feind ist Satan, Fleisch, Welt, und Antichrist,
wider welches Gift, Grimm, und arge List,
unser Geist Tag und Nacht zu streiten hat:
o tu ihm Beistand, Herre Gott.

7. O leg uns den teuren Harnisch der Wahrheit an,
daß wir sicher wandeln auf deiner Bahn;
stärk uns im Glauben, Lieb und Zuversicht,
daß uns nicht Schad der Bösewicht.

8. O Herr, laß dich mild und Barmherzigkeit erfinden,
und hilf, daß wir herrschen allen Sünden;
dem bösen Feind und seinem gantzen Heer,
deinem Namen zu Lob und Ehr.

9. Amen singen wir einträchtig aus Herzenbrunst,
O Vater, du wollest aus Lieb und Gunst
durch Jesum Christum deinen lieben Sohn,
uns allzeit Hilf und Beistand tun.

14 August 2013

Gaude visceribus

Here is my translation of the hymn "Gaude visceribus" for 1st Vespers of the Assumption (or Dormition) of the Blessed Virgin Mary, made according to the corrections to the Latin by Hermann Bonnus, as found in Ludecus' Vesperale (1589).

NOW make thee jubilant deep in thy inmost breast
O Mother Christendom, so oft who hallowest
Sacred days of Saint Mary;
Earth, sea, heaven, now celebrate!

2. Her lowly origin lacked no magnificence,
Her life shone brilliantly with deeds of holiness,
Her departure possesseth
Highest honor for evermore.

3. Virgin delivering, virgin continuing,
She gave God nourishment from her own reservoir,
Bent to bear with arms trembling 
Him who holds her and ev’rything.

4. Blessed that God-bearer, bounteous in accolades,
Gate of the Potentate fastened perennially,
Bright Polaris, the Sea-star,
Branch with Royalty blossoming.

5. Now with sincerity we humbly ask of Thee,
Son of the Virgin pure, God’s very Progeny,
Of Thine infinite mercy
Keep us always and ev’rywhere.

6. Christ, with Thy hallowèd orisons gain for us
Peace’s true palisade, sweet and perpetual,
And Thy blessed dominion,
With endowments more permanent.

7. Grant it, Omnipotent Father, Begotten One,
And Thou in Deity, Spirit, identical,
One God ever reigning,
For all ages and evermore.

Translation © 2013 Matthew Carver.

1. Gaude visceribus mater in intimis
felix ecclesia, quae sacra replicas
sanctae festa Mariae,
plaudant astra, solum, mare.

2. Cuius magnifica est generatio,
cuius vita sacris claruit actibus.
cuius finis honorem
summum fine tenet sine.

3. Quae virgo peperit, virgoque permanet
lactavit propriis uberibus Deum.
Portantemque gerebat
Ulnis prona trementibus.

4. Felix multiplici laude puerpera,
Regis porta sui clausa perenniter.
Mundi stella fluentis
Floris virgula regia.

5. Te nunc suppliciter poscimus unice
O Fili Mariae virginis et Dei,
Ut nos semper ubique
Miti munere protegas.

6. Sanctis obtineas Christe precatibus
Pacis praesidium dulce diutinae,
Nobis atque beati
Regni dona perennia.

7. Praesta summe Pater, Patris et Unice
Amborumque simul Spiritus annue,
Qui regnas Deus unus
Omni tempore saeculi.

02 August 2013

Wir glauben all und bekennen frei

Here is my translation of the Bohemian Brethren hymn “Wir glauben all und bekennen frei” (M. Weiße, 1531),  a sort of brief symbol or confession of what the Supper is (as the original title suggests). The melody is apparently based on the Gregorian tune “Omnipotens Pater gentium.” Both text and tune were later altered and are still found in many hymnals to this day, including that of the SELK.

WE believe and freely all confess,
Just as Jesus said,
That this bread His Body is
That for all our sin to suff’ring sped,
And was crucified and dead;

2. Also that the wine, as He has willed,
Is His Blood unstained,
That upon the cross was spilled,
And the greatest good for all obtained
Who in Him have faith unfeigned.

Translation © 2013 Matthew Carver.

1. Wir glauben all und bekennen frei,
daß nach Christi Wort,
diß Brot der Leib Christi sei,
der für unser Sünd und Missetat
leid am Kreuz den bittern Tod.

2. Desgleichen der Wein in seiner Art
sein unschuldig Blut,
welchs am Kreuz vergossen ward,
uns und allen gläubigen zugut,
so ihm folgen in Demut.