Monday, 26 April 2010

Another wonderful Easter hymn

To another excellent tune, Ave Virgo Virginum:

Words by John of Damascus, translated by J.M. Neale. I think verse 2 is my favourite.

Come, ye faithful, raise the strain
Of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought his Israel
Into joy from sadness;
Loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke
Jacob’s sons and daughters,
Led them with unmoistened foot
Through the Red Sea waters.

’Tis the spring of souls today;
Christ has burst His prison,
And from three days’ sleep in death
As a sun hath risen;
All the winter of our sins,
Long and dark, is flying
From His light, to Whom we give
Laud and praise undying.

Now the queen of seasons, bright
With the day of splendor,
With the royal feast of feasts,
Comes its joy to render;
Comes to glad Jerusalem,
Who with true affection
Welcomes in unwearied strains
Jesu’s resurrection.

Neither might the gates of death,
Nor the tomb’s dark portal,
Nor the watchers, nor the seal
Hold Thee as a mortal;
But today amidst the twelve
Thou didst stand, bestowing
That Thy peace which evermore
Passeth human knowing.*

“Alleluia!” now we cry
To our King immortal,
Who, triumphant, burst the bars
Of the tomb’s dark portal;
“Alleluia!” with the Son,
God the Father praising,
“Alleluia!” yet again
To the Spirit raising.

(* I feel like there should be commas here - " bestowing that (thing), thy peace, which evermore..." - but I can't find any version of the words punctuated like this. Just me?)

1 comment:

Trychay said...

May I suggest the melody 'Ave Virgo Virginum' from the Nuremberg Gesangbuch of 1544 over the setting by Brown in the clip above? I commend the change of metre to triple time in the third pair of lines giving a lilt and skip.