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.]