Thursday, October 23, 2008

Carthusian Hymn to St Anne

It's amazing what's online - a 1717 Carthusian Breviary for example (courtesy of Google Books).  As I am scouting out hymns with which to honour St Anne, for use when the Latin Mass community here in Perth finally moves into its new church whose patron she is, I was pleased to locate in the aforementioned Breviary this Latin hymn to St Anne, which is providentially, and very conveniently, in the same metre as the well-known Ave maris stella:

Lucis hujus festa
Colat plebs honésta,
Deum cælo dignis
Confrequéntans Hymnis.

Mater matris Christi
Ex hoc mundo tristi
Migrans fide bona,
Sumpsit vitæ dona.

Ex hac carnis planta
Surgit Virgo sancta:
Ex hoc fluit fonte
Lapis cæsus monte.

Cælo jam subláta
Múlier beata,
Suo nos precátu
Purget a reátu.

Trino laus et uni
Sit Deo commúni,
In quo vivit Anna
Simul cum María. Amen.

Here also is my translation into verse, just whipped up earlier - excuse any infelicities; yes, I deliberately wrote it in an older style, since that's how we like it at the Pro.:

Anne's feast shineth brightly:
May good folk devoutly
Worship God arightly,
In hymns heaven-worthy.

Christ's Grandmother passing
From this world of weeping
By her firm believing
Gained life everlasting.  

From this heel firm plantèd
Rose the Virgin saintèd:
Flowed from out this fountain
Th' Stone hewn from the mountain.

Now to Heav'n upraisèd
Is that Woman blessèd;
By her prayer acceptèd
Be we from sin purgèd.

To the Thrine and Only
God be praise communely
In Whom liveth Anna
Always with Maria. Amen.

The line Ex hac carnis planta is more literally rendered as "From this sole of flesh", but that sounds bizarre in English, so I indulged in a bit of wordplay instead; the stanza from which this comes is of course alluding to Genesis iii,15 and Daniel ii, 34f, considering these texts as prophecies of the coming of Christ, God-made-man, from the line descended from Eve down through St Anne and finally the Blessed Virgin.

3 comments:

Mark said...

Lucky for some! I can never access Google Books... :(

Joshua said...

Why not?

Mark said...

I don't know; it just never lets me in. Must be where I live.