10 December 2014

Vox ecce clara personat / Vox clara ecce intonat

Now that the busy summer-fall season is over, I am working on a new project; in the course of which, the following composite has been required for the Advent hymn at Lauds, Vox ecce clara personat, AKA Vox clara ecce intonat. The only version found in Lutheran chant books before the Thirty Years War has the modified text, correcting some of the metrical weaknesses that would later be addressed more drastically in 17th c. revisions in the church of Rome (En clara vox redarguit). The text is from Bezelius' Magdeburg cathedral book (1613) and the tune according to its form in Lossius' Psalmodia. Since most translations are based on later or other versions of the text, alteration was necessary in order to produce a faithful rendering of the Latin. I began with Chamber's earliest translation "Lo! what a thrilling voice sounds forth," and utilized some solutions also from Copeland's better-sounding "Hark to the voice, whose thrilling tone," as well as Chambers' revised "Hark! what a thrilling voice invades." Needless to say, nothing was borrowed from the popular "Hark a thrilling voice is sounding" (or "Hark, a herald voice is calling"), despite its wide acceptance, because of its disagreement with the meter.

13 August 2014

Our Father (setting: Grüser)

Here is my adaptation of an Our Father setting (probably for catechetical use) by Valentin Grüser, who may perhaps be the printer Valentin Curio. The source is Pfeilschmidt, Libellus (1605). I give it in the original key (F) and transposed down to D. If you have a solution how to improve the "our trespasses" phrase without accenting "-pass-" please describe in the comments.

 Musical adaptation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

05 August 2014

In fremd Herberg ich bin gewest

Here is my translation of the Purification hymn “In fremd Herberg ich bin gewest” (N. Selneccer), an interpolation of the Canticle of Simeon the Patriarch from Luke 2 (Nunc dimittis). Based on the meter and tune of “Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin,” it is not meant to replace Luther’s indispensible hymn so much as to offer another application of both text and tune.

FROM home estranged, in lodgings rude
My flesh abideth,
In prison bound—yet for my good
God provideth;
Ever in this cart I’ve roamed
Throughout my life so lowly.

2. Now, Lord my God, in grace and love
From bondage bring me
Unto my home, and so remove
Sins that sting me;
Loose me from the cart’s dull yoke,
To dwell in freedom ever.

3. I am Thy servant, this I know;
Free, Lord, now send me;
So by Thy gracious pledge and vow
Thou wilt tend me:
Thou hast given me Thy Son;
In Him I am delivered.

4. With seeing heart I have beheld
Him, my Salvation,
In whom Thou givest to the world
Of Thy gracious will toward all
By faith in Him confiding.

5. Him Thou hast set forth as a Light
All men to lighten—
The world entire in heathen night
All to brighten;
And as Israel’s joy and bliss!—
Through Him we have salvation.

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver

1. In fremd Herberg [Herbrig] ich bin gewestvom Vaterlande,im Gfängnis steckt, doch mir zum Best,wies Gott wandte,Im Karrn ich gezogen habdurch mein ganz elend Leben.
2. Nu Herr mein Gott, ins Vaterlandaus kalter Herberg,und aus des Kerkers Sünd und Schandgnädig führe mich;spann mich aus des Karrens Jochund laß mich nu frei bleiben.
3. Dein Diener bin ich, das weiß ich,frei laß mich fahren,wie du durch dein Zusagung michtust bewahren.Dein Sohn du mir geben hast,in ihm bin ich frei worden.
4. Meins Herzens Augen haben ihnmein Heil gesehenden du für alle Welt gabst hin,draus zu sehen,daß du wollest gnädig seinallen die auf ihn trauen.
5. Du hast ihn allen fürgestelltein Licht zu leuchtenden Heiden, und der ganzen Welt,auch zu Freudenund Preis deins Volks Israel;durch ihn wir selig werden.

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 dich 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 Müh 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.

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.

25 April 2014

Wir wollen alle fröhlich sein

Here is my translation of “Wir wollen alle fröhlich sein,” an Eastertide carol based on a pre-Reformation Latin song, Resurrexit Dominus. I take my version from Keuchenthal’s cantional of 1573 (the melody appears in Spangenberg’s Christlich Gesangbuchlein… 1568). The easy, familiar tune differs slightly from the later settings by Praetorius, etc.

REJOICE we all this Easter-tide!
For He is living who had died,
And all our wrongs are rectified.
Alleluia, Alleluia,
  Alleluia, Alleluia,
To Christ, Son of Mary, all glory be!

2. For Jesus, who endured our pain
Upon the cross, is ris’n again
All praise and glory His remain!

3. The gates of hell He hath laid low,
And loosed the captives from the foe,
Now from eternal death we go!

4. All laud and honor now be done
 To God the Father’s only Son
Who Paradise for us hath won.

5. Let all the Church then joyful be
And praise the Holy Trinity
This Easter and eternally.

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

Wir wollen alle fröhlich sein,
in dieser Osterlichen Zeit,
denn unser Heil an Gotte leit,
Halleluja, Halleluja, Halleluja, Halleluja,
Gelobet sei Christus, Marien Sohn.

2. Es ist erstanden Jesus Christ,
der an dem Kreuz gestorben ist,
dem sei Lob, Ehr zu aller Frist.

3. Er hat zerstört die Hölle Pfort,
und alle die seinen heruas geführt,
und uns erlöst vom ewigen Tod,

4. Wir singen all Lob, Ehr, und Preis
dem einigen Gottes Sohne weis,
der uns erkauft das Paradeis,

5. Es freu sich all die Christenheit,
und lob die heilige Dreifaltigkeit,
von nu an bis in Ewigkeit,

19 April 2014

Rex sanctorum angelorum, totum mundum adjuva

Here is my translation, adaptation, and correction of a metrical Litany dating from around the 10th century. It may have begun in St. Gall, but spread quickly throughout the bishoprics of Germany before being approved for church use by Pope Nicholas III. The original is a sort of abbreviated (or sevenfold) litany which also included in some places a variable stanza to a certain local patron saint (such as St. Gall). This Litany was associated with the seven penitential psalms, after which it was sung. Since this usually happened on a vigil, and the Vigils of Easter and Pentecost included the blessing of the font, stanzas 6, 7, and 8 are sung on such occasions where baptizands are present. For lack of a German processional at hand, I borrow the melody from a Sarum processional (courtesy of Dr. William Renwick).

King of all the holy angels,
 Grant Thine aid to all the world.

1. Advocate before the Father,
Seed of Virgin Mother born,
Angel-circled Mediator,
Represent us eve and morn!

2. King of th’ apostolic orders,
Set us for Thy kingdom blest!
Monarch of the holy martyrs
Save us by Thy blood exprest!

3. Lord of those who here confess Thee,
Of Thy bride, Thy virgin pure,
Grant us grace on earth to bless Thee,
Be Thou our Deliverer.

4. Here behold Thy congregation,
Who on earth Thy help beseech,
Purge us of all foul transgression,
To us Thine assistance reach!

5. Christ, Thou Shepherd good and gracious,
This Thy people’s pray’rs receive,
Maker Thou of Adam ancient
And His seed by mother Eve.

6. Work within this water-basin
Christ, Thy sacred mystery,
As when at Thy crucifixion
Blood with water flowed from Thee.

7. Send, we pray, Thy Holy Spirit,
Counselor and Helper true,
On these souls, who by Thy merit
In the Font are born anew.

8. Now this heav’nly birth beholding,
Holy mother church, rejoice!
Now her growing brood enfolding
Let her sing with gladsome voice!

9. Be with us, O Spirit holy,
With the Son and Father one,
That we may adore Thee only
While eternal ages run.

Repeat Verse.

Text & Translation Copyright © 2014 Matthew Carver.

V. Rex sanctorum angelorum, totum mundum adjuva.

1. Ora primum tu pro nobis 
Virgo mater germinis, 
Et ministri patris summi, 
Ordines angelici.

2. Supplicate Christo regi 
Goetus apostolici, 
Supplicetque pcrmagnorum 
Sanguis fusus martyrum.

3. Implorate confessores, 
Consonaeque virgines, 
Quod donetur magnae nobis 
Tempus indulgentiae.

4. Omnes sancti atque justi, 
Vos precamur cernui, 
Ut purgetur crimen omne 
Vestro sublevamine.  [sub juvamine]

5. Hujus, Christe, rector alme, 
Plebis vota suscipe, 
Qui plasmasti protoplastum 
Et genus gignentium.

6. Fac in terra fontis hujus 
Sacratum mysterium, 
Qui profluxit cum cruore 
Sacro Christi corpore.

7. Mitte sanctum nunc amborum 
Spiritum paraclitum 
In hanc plebem, quam recentem 
Föns baptismi parturit.

8. Ut laetetur mater sancla 
Tota nunc ecclesia: 
Ex profectu renasccntis 
Tantae multiturtinis.

9. Praesta patris atque nati 
Compar sancte spiritus, 
Ut te solum semper omni 
Diligamus tempore.

V. Rex sanctorum angelorum. totum mundum adjuva.

05 April 2014

Rex Israel tuus tibi

Here is my translation of G. Fabricius' hymn, "Rex Israel tuus tibi" from his book of poetry, De Historia et Meditatione Christi Mortis (1553). It appears to have been taken into a few hymnals, but it is unclear which melody it was given. I provide the Gregorian melody most often associated with the Passiontide hymn "Rex Christe factor omnium."

THY KING, O Isr’el, comes to thee,
In manner meek, and willingly,
His entry now with hands applaud,
With trumpet hail, with anthems laud!

2. He comes not fierce with forces steeled
Or barb’rous troops to take the field,
But, poor-appareled, makes His track
Upon a lowly donkey’s back.

3. No joy of fleeting wealth He brings,
But bounties of eternal things;
What doubt can then thy heart convince
To dread so mild and rich a Prince?

4. For Him let us our garments strew,
For Him the greening branches hew,
For Him a hymn of glory sound,—
In strife our fairest Fav’rite crowned!

5. Here doth the gentle Pauper go
The dev’lish fiend to overthrow,—
The righteous King, for our release
To raise a vict’ry-rod* of peace.

6. By word and hand He claims for heav’n
The kingdom by His Father giv’n,
And in His temple on the rod,
Disdained by rulers, reigns as God.

7. Our glad Hosanna let us sing
To David’s Son, the gracious King,
O may His kingdom ever blest
For ages flourish without rest! Amen.

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

*Trop(h)aea, i.e., tree-shaped monuments formerly used to mark a military victory; here, the cross.

1. Rex, Israel, tuus tibi
mansuetus et volens adest,
Plausus manu, cantus tuba
et ore laudes persona.

2. Non saevus armato grege,
cohortibusve barbaris,
Tergo sed insidens, venit
inops, aselli pauperis.

3. Nec fert caduca gaudia,
vitae sed aeternae bona,
Neve [=Neu] horreas mitissimum,
sic vult venire, principem.

4. Sternamus huic velamina,
ramos secemus arborum,
Promamus hymnum gloriae
pulcherrimo_in certamine.

5. Pauper superbum subjugat
clemens atrocem daemonem,
Rex justus et salvans suos
trophaea pacis erigit.

6. Regnum_a parente traditum
verbo manuque vindicat
Contemnitur potentibus,
sed regnat in templo deus.

7. Osanna laetum Davidis
canamus almo filio,
Cuius per omne saeculum
regnum beatum floreat. [Amen.]

25 March 2014

Quod Esaias dixerat

Here is my translation of the Reformation-period Latin hymn “Quod Esaias dixerat” (G. Fabricius) set by Lucas Lossius to the same melody as the other Annunciation hymn there, “Fit porta Christi,” by St. Rhabanus Maurus. Unlike Rhabanus’ text, which, appointed for Compline on the Annunciation, focuses on the mystery of the virgin birth, Fabricius’s new hymn is explicitly of the Annunciation. Lossius (fol. 204b) includes in Latin a preface to the hymn as follows:
“There are four parts: first, a proposition or assertion of the conceiving of the Son of God according to the prophecy of Isaiah 7, in the womb of the virgin Mary, through the working of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1); second, an exposition of the manner of the conception, by the envoy or message of the Angel Gabriel; third, a description of the person of the Messiah, which is that He is not only true Man but also true God, and that His reign is spiritual and eternal; fourth, a prayer that Christ would conjoin and preserve the Church which He has redeemed by His Passion and death, that He together with the Father and Holy Spirit may be rightly acknowledged, adored, and invoked by us.”
The melody follows as provideds by Lossius.

FULFILLED is St. Esaias’ word,
The virgin pure conceives her Lord,
The Seed is sown that, being bred,
Shall crush at last the dragon’s head.

2. Glad tidings doth God’s Angel tell:
Salvation gained, Emmanuel,
The Hope of all by human birth;
So sing ye praises, all the earth!

3. He shall be great, His name shall be
Son of the Most High Majesty;
His Father’s kingdom He shall tend,
And of it there shall be no end.

4. O Christ, that kingdom Thou hast built
By many_a wound and blood outspilt
Let not the foe this latter day
Confound and leave in disarray;

5. So be Thou honored, God the Son,
With Father and with Spirit one,
To whom alone belongs the praise
And laud of all, for endless days. Amen.

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

1. Quod Esaïas dixerat,
Intacta virgo concipit,
Ut Semen illud conterens
Caput Draconis prodeat.

2. Laetum salutis Angelus
Profert adeptae nuncium, [nuntium]
Promissa Spes, Emanuel,
Nascetur orbi, psallite.

3. Hic magnus est, et Filius
Altissimi vocabitur,
Patrisque regnum termino
Carens in aevum, proferet.

4. Hoc Christe regnum plurimo
Quod astruisti vulnere,
Ne dissipari hoc ultimo
Sinas ab hoste, tempore.

5. Ut tu colaris cum tuo
Patre_atque sancto Spiritu,
Cui cultus et laus, omnibus
Debetur uni seculis. Amen.

Fit porta Christi pervia

Here is my translation of the hymn “Fit porta Christi pervia” (Ambrose, 4th c.) according to the short cento found in Lossius (1579). It had been inserted in Sedulius poem beginning “A solis ortus cardine” but is affirmed as Ambrose’s work by ancient and medieval testimony. The melody is that provided by Lossius.

THE GATE of Christ, all full of grace,
In ways unseen hath yielded place;
The King passed through what shut shall be
As it hath been, eternally.

2. The Offspring of the Light divine
Emerged from out the Virgin’s shrine:—
The Church’s Spouse and Savior He,
Who made all things by His decree.

3. He of his mother Crown and Joy,
Of all believers Hope most high,
Who by death’s bitter cup hath paid
And for our sins atonement made.

4. To God the Father ever one
With God the sole-begotten Son
And God the Spirit, glory be
Both now and for eternity.

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

1. Fit porta Christi pervia,
referta plena gratia,
Transitque Rex et permanet
Clausa_ut fuit per secula.

2. Genus superni luminis [="Numinis"],
Processit aula virginis,
Sponsus, redemptor, conditor,
Suae gigas Ecclesiae.

3. Honor matris et gaudium
Immensa_et spes credentium, [corr. from "Immensa spes et…"]
Per atra mortis pocula,
Resolvit nostra crimina.

4. Deo Patri sit gloria,
Eiusque soli Filio,
Cum Spiritu Paraclito,
Et nunc et in perpetuum.

15 March 2014

Agni paschalis esu

Here is my translation of Notker’s Sequence for Easter Tuesday, “Agni paschalis esu potuque dignas,” literally “[worthy] Of the Paschal Lamb to eat and drink.” Syntactically the opening phrase extends into the first double verse, delaying the subject and predicate, and so complicates understanding for modern English ears. I have restructured it slightly so that the Lamb still comes first and makes a clear title. The text and melody appear in early and late editions of Lossius. The theme is clearly the reception of the Lord’s Supper by the newly baptized with spiritual allusions to the Passover and the Exodus.

According to Daniel, the melody (“Graeca”) is not the original to “Agni paschalis,” but has been adapted. MSS with other melodies are not immediately available. Proof of this  is a definite irregularity in verses 2c. and 3a, which may have formed a double verse together in the original form. In the present version, 2c. melodically forms a transition between 2a-b. and 3a-c. Interestingly, the couplet 4a-b presents a melodic progression in the first half-lines, from sol-fa to sol-la.

NOW THAT the Lamb hath readied
The Paschal banquet,

2a. Let all Christian souls by ways sincere
Prove themselves worthy thereof to partake;
2b. For their great High Priest, as Victim dear
Hath offered Himself to God for all their sake.
2c. Now on the posts of their brows appear
Seals of royal red
By the sacred blood He shed,
A shade from the wrath that o’er Egypt brake;

3a. Now all the rival’s forces
Are swallowed up by the Red Sea tide.
3b. So let their loins all be girded well to stride,
3c. And for the serpents their feet be fortified.

4a. While wayfaring,
Let their hand be bearing
Spirit-staves alway,
Dogs to keep at bay;
4b. That they in fashion
Foll’wing Jesus’ Passion,
Share His Easter too,
Who the grave o’erthrew.

5a. Lo, earth awoken,
Florid with Christ doth rise,
5b. A gracious token
Showing to faithful eyes,

6a. O’er death, what vict’ry prize
Is with Christ bespoken!

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

1. Agni paschalis esu
potuque dignas,

2a. Moribus synceris praebeant
omnes se Christianae animae,
2b. Pro quibus se Deo hostias
obtulit ipse summus Pontifex.
2c. Quarum frons in postis est modum,
eius illita
sacrosancto cruore
et tuta a clade canopica,

3a. Qua[rum] crudeles hostes
in mari Rubro sunt obruti.
3b. Renes constringant ad pudicitiam.
3c. Pedes tutentur adversus viperas.

4a. Baculosque
spiritales contra
canes jugiter
manu bajulent.
4b. Ut pascha Jesu
mereantur sequi,
quo de barathro,
victor rediit.

5a. En redivivus
mundus ornatibus
5b. Christo consurgens
fideles admonet,

6. Post mortem melius
cum eo victuros.

11 March 2014

Magno salutis gaudio

Here is my translation of the ancient Palm Sunday processional hymn, “Magno salutis gaudio,” also known as “Magnum salutis gaudium” after one of the variants. The hymn comes to us from Gregory the Great, and so predates the current Palmarum processional, “Gloria laus et honor” of Theodulph, by about two centuries. Lossius (1579, fol. 65 verso) appoints this hymn for 1st Vespers of Palm Sunday in a cento of seven stanzas. A variety of centos appear in ancient uses, usually with a refrain or special antiphons. Rubrics in Lossius refer to the tune for “Deus Creator omnium” or “Christe qui lux es et dies.” I include another melody found in a Cistercian hymnal from the late 16th century.

LET age to age with great delight
Acclaim salvation’s cheering sight,
Since Jesus our Redeemer hath
Raised up the fainting world from death.

2. Six days before the Paschal feast
Nigh Bethany His journey ceased,
Where He with love, now three days o’er
Did Lazarus to life restore.

3. There Mary took of spikenard dear
The pound untainted, without peer,
Embalmed her Master’s blessèd feet
Bedewing them with teardrops sweet.

4. Then Jesus, highest Judge of all
Upon a colt, an ass’s foal,
Was pleased to sit, and thusly passed
To proud Jerusalem at last.

5. O marvelous that tender love,
O meekness rare of God above,
That He who made creation wide
On ass’s colt should deign to ride!

6. From tender palm the gath’ring throng
The new-cut branches bore along,
And crowding came into the way
To meet the King of endless day.

7. Praise, honor, and dominion be
To God the only Trinity:
To Father, Son and Spirit, One 

While everlasting ages run.

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver; sts. 2–6, based on W.J. Copeland.

W.J. COPELAND (complete hymn):
Let age to age Hosannas sing, 

Glad shout of health and praise,
Now Jesus comes, Salvation's King,

Th' expiring world to raise.

Six days the Paschal night before
At Bethany He arriv'd,
Where, in His love, now three days o'er
He Lazarus reviv'd.

There Mary took of spikenard sweet
The precious pound and good,
Etnbalm'd her Master's Blessed Feet,
And with her tears bedew'd.

Then Jesus, Judge of Heaven Supreme,
On ass's colt He sate,
And on to proud Jerusalem
Advanc'd in solemn state.

O tender love how marvellous,
More wondrous meekness yet!
That earth's Creator deigneth thus
On ass's colt to sit.

'Twas He the Seer's clear spirit eyed,
And thrilling voice foretold,
When "Daughter, rise and shout" he cried,
"Shout, Sion, and behold!"

"Thy King doth come, yon lowly One,
"Fear not, Behold the sign,
 "On foal of ass He rideth on,
"Meek, patient, and benign."

From tender palm the gathering throng
The new-cut branches bring,
With olives green they haste along
To meet th' Immortal King;

Before, behind, in concourse run,
And in the Spirit's might,
"Hosanna" cry, "to David's Son
Hosanna in the height."

Some strip them of their garments gay
To deck the royal road,
Some with bright flowers bestrew the way
As less unmeet for God.

At His approach with thrill intense
The trembling city rang;
But Judah's golden innocence
His worthiest praises sang.

O let us thus run forth to greet
Th’ Almighty Judge and King,
And bearing palms of glory meet
With childlike spirit sing.

All honour, might, and sovranty 

To God Triune in Heaven,
To Father, Son and Spirit be 

Eternal glory given.

LATIN (Cento from Lossius):
Magno salutis gaudio
Laetetur omne seculum,
JESUS redemptor omnium
Sanavit orbem languidum.

2. Sex ante Paschae ferias,
Advenit in Bethaniam,
Ubi pie post triduum
Resuscitavit Lazarum.

3. Nardi Maria pistici
Sumpsit libram mox optimi.
Unxit beatos Domini
Pedes, rigando lacrymis.

4. Post haec jugalis asinae,
JESUS supernus arbiter,
Pullo sedebat , inclytam
Pergebat Hierosolymam.

5. O quam stupenda pietas,
Mira Dei clementia,
Sessor aselli fieri,
Dignatus autor seculi.

6. Ramos virentes sumpserat,
Palma recisos tenera,
Turba processit obviam,
Regi perenni plurima.

7. Honor, decus, imperium,
Sit Trinitati unicae,
Patri, Nato, Paracleto,
Per infinita secula, Amen.

01 March 2014

Exultandi et laetandi tempus est

Here is my translation of the Easter Benedicamus trope “Exultandi et laetandi” (or more often “Exultemus et laetemur”), as given in H. Bonnus, Hymni et Sequentiae (1559), where it is appointed actually to be sung during Communion, perhaps because of the similarity to the paschal Communion which alludes to the same text. Briefest examination of the text shows that it is originally a Benedicamus hymn sung in place of or adjacent to the Benedicamus of the Mass (“Benedicamus Domino.” R. “Deo gratias.”), since it contains or refers to these words in the final verses. The melody here presented by Bonnus differs somewhat from the comparatively reduced Vatican edition (Liber Usualis pp. 1931 ff., where it begins with our verse 2: "Exsultemus et laetemur hodie"). It follows the Benedicamus tone (which is to say, deriving from Kyrie fons bonitatis for festivals) in mode III, but also the alternate tone in mode V, which in the Liber Usu. is termed "according to more common usage." Thus it combines both melodies, unifying them by transposing the ending back up to mode III.

the time for joy and gladness, for now Christ,
Our passover Lamb, for us is sacrificed.
  Alleluia, Christ the Lord is ris’n again!

2. Let us all rejoice this day, this day be glad,
For this day a day of gladness shall be had,
  Alleluia, Christ the Lord is ris’n again!

3. To the sepulchre the women early came,
Where they heard the angel answer and exclaim:
  Alleluia, Christ the Lord is ris’n again!

4. “Why seek ye the living here among the dead?”
He is risen as unto the Twelve He said.”
  Alleluia, Christ the Lord is ris’n again!

5. Therefore at the end of this festivity,
LET US BLESS THE LORD, His servants now set free.
  Alleluia, Christ the Lord is ris’n again!

6. Since He hath our liberty to us restored,
  Alleluia, Christ the Lord is ris’n again!

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

1. Exultandi et laetandi tempus est,
Pascha nostrum immolatus agnus est.
  Alleluia, Resurrexit Dominus.

2. Exultemus et laetemur hodie
Dies iste, dies est laeticiae. | Alleluia. Res.

3. Ad sepulchrum mulieres veniunt,
Responsum ab Angelo recipiunt. | Alleluia. Res.

4. In sepulchro quem dolentes queritis,
Surrexit sicut praedixit discipulis. | Alleluia. Res.

5. In hoc ergo jubilaei termino,
Servus liber benedicat Domino. | Alleluia. Res.

6. Cum sit ergo restituta libertas,
Omnes Deo referamus gratias. | Alleluia. Res.

25 February 2014

Laß die Welt dies Leben lieben

When hymn-writer Chad L. Bird posted his latest hymn, "From the Mount of Our Lord's Glory," Rev. Armin Wenz noted in a comment a hymn by Sigismund von Birken. Here is my translation of the hymn "Laß die Welt dies Leben lieben" (S. von Birken). It was written for the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany (Transfiguration). The melody is "Steh doch, Seele, steh doch stille," of which I reproduce from Kümmerle the first version from Nürnberg.

LEAVE THIS world its life so treasured!
Here it is not good to stay;
Here abide but griefs unmeasured:
Sin, injustice, pain, decay;
Long to live on earth is merely
Long to suffer, sore and dearly.

2. God, it is not so in heaven!
There on high ’tis good to be!
There the shades of sin are riven,
Routed there all misery;
There Thy glory shines unfailing,
Where the Sun of joy is dwelling!

3. Let me see that life delighftul!
Let me set my dwelling soon
Far from cities faint and frightful
In Thy country star-bestrewn
Let me be from sorrow lifted,
With that higher station gifted!

4. Here in Moses’ tent of meeting
Mid the worldly wilderness,
Men in sweat their bread are eating,
All Thy holy Law transgress;
Here the cursèd ground convicts him
And with choking thorn afflicts him.

5. In this life of sin and sadness,
In this soldier’s camp I stay,
Bound by foes who in their madness
Ever call us to the fray,
What is here but wars repeating,
Triumphs tenuous and fleeting?

6. Such a triumph to be claiming,
To Elijah’s tent I flee,
Which by horse and chariot flaming
God preserves within His lee;
As I fight no foes confound me
With the angel escort round me.

7. Yet, O Jesus, heaven’s dwelling
Shall my highest pleasure be—
Home of peace, all peace excelling—
Triumph there to share with Thee!
There Thy hand a crown will give me:
Jesus, from the earth receive me!

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

1. Laß die Welt diß Leben lieben! / hier auf Erd ist nit gut seyn. / hier wohnt nichtes, als Betrüben, / Unrecht, Sünde, Noht und Pein. / Langes leben hier auf Erden, / heist nur, lang gequälet werden.
2. Nicht so, Gott in deinem Himmel! / in dem Himmel ist gut seyn: / da hört auf das Leidgewimmel; / da gibt ewig-hellen Schein / deine schöne FreudenSonne, / da wohnt wahre Lebenswonne.
3. Dieses Wohlseyn laß mich schauen. / laß mich in dem Sternenland / mir bald eine Hütte bauen, / tretten an den guten Stand: / daß ich in dem Freudenwesen / ewig möge Leids genesen.
4. Hier ich wohn in Mose Hütten, / in der Wüste dieser Welt. / Hier ach! muß es seyn gelitten, / weil man dein Gesetz nicht hält. / und es muß die Erde tragen / die Fluchdörnern, uns zuplagen.
5. Dieses Sünd- und Jammer-Leben, / dieses Kriegszelt, ieder Zeit / von den Feinden wird ümgeben, / die uns fordern in den Streit. / Was ist hier? Gefährlichs Kriegen, / und doch ungewißes Siegen.
6. Diesen Sieg davon zutragen, / flieh ich in Elias Zelt, / das durch Feuer-Roß und Wagen / Gott in seinem Schutze hält. / Sicher ich den feind bestreite, / in dem Englischen Geleite.
7. Doch so laß ich mir vor allen, / Jesu, dort dein HimmelZelt, / da der Friede wohnt, gefallen, / wo man mit dir Siegpracht hält. / da werd ich gekrönet werden. / Jesu, hol mich von der Erden!
Dreyen Jüngern auf dem Berg Jesus herrlich wird verkläret, / und: diß ist mein lieber Sohn! himmel-ab die Stimm gehöret.

23 February 2014

Wir Menschen sind zu dem, o Gott!

Here is my first translation completed in the New Year: a hymn on the Scriptures: Wir Menschen sind zu dem, o Gott! by David Denicke (†1680). The proper melody is "Sei Lob und Ehr' dem höchsten Gut." Translations of single stanzas occur in the Moravian Hymn-Book, and a cento of 5 stanzas in American Lutheran Hymnal (#97).

1. We men, O God, have many a flaw,
The Spirit's things confound us:
Thy will, Thy ways, Thy holy law,
Dismay and sore astound us
We could not know nor grasp aright,
Did not Thy holy Word and Light
Show us the way to find Thee.

2. So didst Thou send us long ago
the Prophets, Thine attendants,
Thy holy will and laws to show
To Israel's descendants;
But in these latter days Thy Son,
O Father! is Himself come down
From heaven's throne to teach us.

3. Be praised for this salvation, Lord,
There let us be abiding,
Thy goodly Spirit us afford,
To keep us there confiding,
With meekness, rev'rence, love, and joy,
To hold, believe in, and employ
As God's, not man's, creation.

4. Let not the vile and scornful crowd
From Holy Scripture turn us,
For they and all their mocking proud
Will end in hell's hot furnace,
Give Thou Thy Word a thunder-blast
To lodge in us Thy doctrines fast
And dwell within us richly.

5. Unstop our ears and stubborn heart
To grasp the scriptures rightly,
In love or loss, in joy or smart
Let it not seem unsightly,
Nor let us only hearers prove,
But doers of the Word, that love
A hundredfold may flourish.

6. The scattered seed upon the way
Is by the devil taken:
In rocky soil the Word scarce may
A little root awaken.
The seed that falls among the thorn
By worldly cares away is borne,
Mid earthly joys to perish.

7. Oh, help us, Lord, resemble here
That fertile, good foundation,
In virtues rich, with godly fear
Fulfilling our vocation,
With patience plenteous fruit to bear,
And to preserve in hearts made fair
Thy teachings and Thy favors.

8. Let us abstain, while here we live,
From pathways of transgression,
And grant that we to Thee may cleave
In pain and tribulation:
Root out all thorns and choking tares,
Help us to curb our worldly cares
And snuff all wicked pleasures.

9. Thy Word, O Lord, let ever be
A lamp to light our going!
Sustain it pure and bright, that we
May profit in its glowing
With wisdom, strength, and help in need,
And neither life nor death may heed,
Unmoved therein confiding.

10. God, Father, for Thy glory spread
Abroad Thy Word and preaching;
O Jesus, grant us to be led
And lightened by Thy teaching:
O Holy Ghost, in Thine elect
Make this Thy Word Divine effect
Faith, hope, love, and forbearance.

Translation © 2009 Matthew Carver.

1. Wir Menschen sind zu dem, o Gott!
was geistlich ist, untüchtig:
dein Wesen, Wille und Gebot,
ist viel zu hoch und wichtig;
Wir wissen'sund verstehen's nicht,
wo uns dein göttlich Wort und Licht
den Weg zu dir nicht weiset.

2. Drum sind vor Zeiten ausgesandt
Propheten, deine Knechte,
daß durch dieselben würd' bekannt
dein heil'ger Will' und Rechte;
zum letzten ist dein lieber Sohn,
o Vater! von des Himmels Thron
selbst kommen, uns zu lehren.

3. Für solches Heil sei, Herr! gepreis't,
laß uns dabei verbleiben,
und gib uns deinen guten Geist,
daß wir dem Worte gläuben,
dasselb' annehmen jederzeit
mit Sanftmuth, Ehre, Lieb' und Freud',
als Gottes, nicht der Menschen.

4. Hilf! das der losen Spötter Hauf'
uns nicht vom Wort abwende;
denn ihr Gespött, sammt ihnen drauf,
mit Schrecken nimmt ein Ende.
Gib du selbst deinem Donner[-]Kraft,
daß deine Lehre in uns haft',
auch reichlich in uns wohne.

5. Öffn' uns die Ohren und das Herz,
daß wir das Wort recht fassen,
in Lieb und Leid, in Freud und Schmerz
es aus der Acht nicht lassen,
daß wir nicht Hörer nur allein
des Wortes, sondern Thäter sein,
Frucht hundertfältig bringen.

6. Am Wege wird der Same fort
vom Teufel hingenommen:
in Fels und Steinen kann das Wort
die Wurzel nicht bekommen.
Der Sam', so in die Dornen fällt,
von Sorg' und Wollust dieser Welt
verdirbet und ersticket.

7. Ach hilf, Herr! daß wir werden gleich
allhier dem guten Lande,
und sein an guten werken Reich,
ins unserm Amt und Stande,
viel Früchte bringen in Geduld,
bewahren deine Lehr' und Huld
in feinem guten Herzen.

8. Laß uns, so lang wir leben hier,
den Weg der Sünder meiden;
gib, daß wir halten fest an dir
in Anfechtung und Leiden:
Rott' aus die Dornen allzumal,
hilf uns die Weltsorg' überall
und böse Lüste dämpfen.

9. Dein Wort, o Herr! laß allweg' sein
die Leuchte unsern Füßen,
erhalt es bei uns klar und rein:
hilf! daß wir draus genießen
Kraft, Rath und Trost in aller Noth,
daß wir im Leben und im Tod
beständig darauf trauen.

10. Gott Vater! laß zu deiner Ehr'
dein Wort sich weit ausbreiten;
hilf, Jesu! daß uns deine Lehr'
erleuchten mög' und leiten:
o heil'ger Geist! dein göttlich Wort
laß in uns wirken fort und fort:
Geduld, Lieb', Hoffnung, Glauben.

06 February 2014

Dixit Dominus ex Basan

Here is my translation for the Sequence "Dominus dixit ex Basan" (Godescalcus) for the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25), as it appears in Bonnus, Lossius (1579), Keuchenthal, Ludecus' Missale, and Magdeburg (1613). Each cantional had a slightly different version of the melody (though there are two main strains). I include the slightly simpler version found in Bonnus. I have normalized the syllabic lines of the text in certain places, usually according to the longer version, but the melody does not reflect this yet. Use the longer of the repeated melodic lines.

OUT of Bashan, saith the Lord, I will turn him,
And in the deepest sea convert him.

2a. And God kept His saying:
Saul prostrate laying,
Paul then to life He brought,
2b. By His Word incarnate
Did He perform it
Through Whom the world He wrought.

3a. For, Him defying,
Saul heard Him crying,
“Saul, why persecutest thou Me?”
3b. I am that Jesus
Thou persecutest:
To kick the goads is hard for thee!”

4a. At the presence of the Lord
Did the earth tremble
As if to crumble,
Soon yet it rested:
4b. Paul, to faith in God restored,
In true contrition
His fellow Christian
No more molested.

5a. This is the tongue of Thy faithful hounds
Out of hostile grounds
Back to Thee, God, returning,
5b. Since Paul makes all mouths of preachers bold
(Where Thy Word be told),
With Thy commands and learning,

6a. For Paul says: No other
Is Christ the Crucified
Than true God, who reigneth,
6b. One with God the Father
And the Holy Ghost,
As Paul’s word maintaineth.

7a. Houndlike, the tongues of preachers
Drinking deep of Paul their teacher,
Much in those millstones twain have ground—
Law that demandeth,
Gospel that granteth,—
7b. Making by use most heedful
All kinds of medicines needful
By which the wounded are bound
And those that hunger
Fed and made stronger.

8a. When the sea his doctrine saw,
It fled; at his rehearsing
The Jordan
Was driven back, reversing:
8b. For the Gentiles turned in awe
From depths of their transgression;
Great Og, the King of Bashan.

9. Now Christ, they adore Thee
Over all creation,
Giving the God-Man all glory
Who came and brought salvation.

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

1. Dixit Dominus,
Ex Basan convertam,
convertam in profundum maris.

2. Quod dixit et fecit:
Saulum et stravit,
Paulum et statuit
Per Verbum suum
Incarnatum, per quod
fecit et saecula:

3. Quod dum impugnat,
audivit Saule, {Saulus}
Saule quid me persequeris? {perspexeris}
Ego sum Jesus;
durum est tibi,
ut recalcitres stimulo.

4. A facie, Domini,
mota est terra,
moxque {mox et} quievit.
Dum cognito credidit
Domino Paulus,
persequi cessat

5. Haec {Hi[n]c} lingua tuorum est canum,
ex inimicis
rediens ad te Deus.
Cum Paulus in ore omnium
secretorum {sacerdotum}
jura dat praeceptorum,

6. Docens crucifixum
non esse alium
praeter Christum Deum.
Cum Patre qui regnat
et Sancto Spiritu,
cujus testis Paulus,

7. Hi[n]c lingua sacerdotum
more canis dum perlinxit
legis et evangelii
duos molares
in his contrivit. {contritos}
Corrasit universas
species medicinarum,
quibus curantur saucii,
8. Quod docente Deum
mare vidit et fugit,
conversus est retrorsum.

Quia turba gentium
relicto {rediens} vitiorum
Og rege Basan confuso,
9. Te solum adorat
Christe creatorem
Teque {Quem et } cognoscit in carne

20 January 2014

Ach, Herr, mein Gott und höchster Hort

Here is my translation of the hymn "Ach, Herr, mein Gott und höchster Hort" (B. Waldis, 1553), a paraphrase of Psalm 5, Verba mea auribus. It is titled "A Prayer Against the False Teachers, and a Consolation upon God’s Word." The melody was composed specially by Waldis.

O LORD my God and Rock most high,
Receive my word and mark my cry;
  My pray’r I lay before Thee.
Thou art my God and Thou my King,
Thou only canst deliv’rance bring,
  For which I now implore Thee.
Thou lovest not the wicked way,
With Thee the sinner shall not stay,
  Ungodliness delights Thee not,
  Nor those who boast in what they wrought;
False teachers Thou shalt put to death,
And trample underfoot in wrath 
  All bloody men who scorn Thee.
2. I pray Thee, Lord, my soul defend
From their false doctrines that offend.
  Teach me Thine to be knowing,
That I Thy Word may closely hear
And come to Thee in fitting fear,
  With saints Thy praises showing.
Preserve me in the righteous way,
From what the enemy may say,
  From all their false, deceitful arts,
  Their lips that lie, their haughty hearts,
Their throats like open graves of death,
Their tongues that flatter without faith—
  Corrupt is all their doing.

3. Rebuke them, God, and let them fall
By these their wicked counsels all,
  And let them be confounded
Which, e’er rebellious, strive with Thee.
But let the godly joyful be,
  By Thy defense surrounded.
Let those Thou keepest joy in Thee,
And celebrate eternally.
  The perfect way Thou leadest them
  That love the glory of Thy name,
Thou wilt preserve them righteous e’er,
And as with shield and armor fair
  By grace bid them be crownèd.

4. For this, O Lord, we worship Thee,
And give Thee thanks eternally,
  Who madest earth and heaven,
And all their hosts, from on Thy throne,
Through Jesus Christ, Thine only Son;
  May we, who morn and even
Implore in faith obtain the same
At His command and in His name;
  In us Thy Spirit make it strong,
  That we may trust Him all life long
With heart and mind, by heavn’ly grace;
And in our need and death’s distress
  Thine ev’ry good be given.
Translation © 2013–2014 Matthew Carver.

Ach Herr, mein Gott und höchster Hort,
Merk auf mein Red, vernimm mein Wort,
dann ich will für dir beten.
Du bist mein König und mein Gott,
Ich ruf zu dir beid früh und spat,
du kannst mich wohl erretten.
Du bist kein Gott dem Böses liebt,
bist gram dem der in Sünd sich übt,
kein gottlos Wesen dir gefällt,
alls was sich rühmt und prächtig stellt,
die falsche Lehre bringst du um,
die blutdürstigen in deim Grimm
wirst du all untertreten.

2. Darum bitt ich, Behüt mich, Herr,
vor ihr schädlichen falschen Lehr,
und wöllst mich unterweisen,
daß deinem Wort mein Seel gehorcht,
und dich anbett in rechter Forcht,
mit den Frummen zu preisen,
auf rechtem Weg mich, Herr, beschutz,
vor falscher Lehr, der Feinde Trutz,
nicht gwisses ist in ihrem Mund,
sie sind von Herzen ungesund,
ihr Rachen ist ein offnes Grab,
ihr Zung hinket am Heuchelstab,
ist falsch in all ihrn Reisen.

3. Straf sie, O Gott, und laß sie falln
von ihrm bösen Vornehmen alln,
daß sie werden verhöhnet,
die dir allzeit entgegen sein,
daß sich freuen die Frummen dein,
daß ihr stets werd verschonet,
die du beschirmest, rühmen sich,
sind in dir fröhlich ewiglich,
all die deins namens Ehr lieb han,
führst du allzeit auf rechter Bahn,
die grechten du erhalten willt,
werden gleich wie mit Helm und Schild,
durch Gnad von dir gekrönet.

¶ Dafür wir, Herr, auch preisen dich,
danken deim Namen ewiglich,
der du all himmlisch Heere
geschaffen hast in deinem Tron,
durch Jesum Christum deinen Sohn,
in ihm uns auch gewähre,
was wir bitten im Glauben rein,
auf sein Befehl im Namen sein,
solchs stärk in uns deins Geistes Güt,
daß wir mit Herzensinn und Gmüt
uns im Vertrauen ganz und gar,
in aller Not und Todesfahr
alls Gut mit Gnad beschere.