Friday, 18 December 2015

Medieval Christmas Poetry (iii)

Here is another lovely medieval Christmas poem. It dates from the 13th Century; unfortunately I only have it in a translated version. Nonetheless, it is a pleasing verse: another macaronic poem, like Of on that is so fayre and bright.

Holy Mary, mother mild.
Mater salutaris
Fairest flower of any field,
Vere nuncuparis
With Jesus Christ you were with child;
You drive me from my musings wild
Which make me go to death, I know,

My thoughts are wild like any roe, 
Luto gratulante
They plunge me in the utmost woe,
Illaque favente.
But if the Christ from me should go,
I know my heart would break in two,
By night and day I lose my way

Jesu, through your power and might
Omnia fecisti:
The Holy Ghost in Mary alit,
Sicut voluisti.
Since we call him Lord Almighty,
Jesu, bring my thought to Christ
That it shall stay, not go astray

Jesus Christ, so high aloft,
Digno tu scadente;
Heaven and earth below you wrought
Victore triumphante;
With your body mankind you bought:
His soul at any cost you sought,
Nec dare,
And gave the blood that was so good
Tam gnare.
Sweetest Lady, flower of all,
Vere consolatrix,
Be my helper lest I fall, 
Cunctis reparatrix.
Gentlest Queen of chosen sway,
Be before me night and day
Give me grace to see the face

That through your sweetest prayers I may,
Tutrix orphanorum,
Leave this world's vexatious way,
Solamen miserorum;
And to you, Lady, may I take
My sins and them thereby foresake
And so not miss your heavenly bliss: 

(Trans: Brian Stone)

From the Penguin Medieval Verse - which is well worth buying!

1 comment:

umblepie said...

Very lovely. Thank you.