Friday, December 24, 2004

Stabat Mater Speciosa

This is very, very rough, but given the day I couldn't forebear posting it. It's my translation of the medieval hymn Stabat Mater Speciosa, the companion piece to Stabat Mater Dolorosa, of which I have already given a rough translation and which should be read in conjunction with it.

Stabat Mater Speciosa

The lovely mother was standing here,
Joyful with the cradle near
Where lay her baby boy,
Whose soul with joyful ecstasy,
Happy with great fervency,
Was pierced by jubilation.

O how blessed and how elated
Was that fair immaculated
Mother of the sole-begotten;
Who was laughing and joyful being,
Who was exulting in her seeing
The birth of the one she bore.

Who is the one who will not have joy
To see the mother whose baby boy
Was Christ, in such great solace?
Who cannot be happy made
Watching the mother as she played,
Pious, with her son?

For the sins of Gentiles, Jews,
Jesus with lowly beasts she views,
Subjected to the cold.
She sees, so sweet, the one she bore,
The Son which she does so adore,
Crying, swaddled tight.

Christ, now born, laid in a stall
The citizens of heaven's halls
Praise with endless joy;
The old man stands, wholly dazed
Without speaking, heart amazed,
Beside the girl in wonder.

Pious mother, love's great source,
Make me feel your ardor's force,
Make me sense it deep with you,
Make my heart be set alight
With the love of Godly Christ
And be made to please Him well.

Holy mother, if you will,
Put the blows and wounds you feel
Deep within my heart;
The pains with my own soul dividing
Of your child from heaven gliding,
Deigning to be born.

Make me to rejoice with you,
Share the love of Christ with you,
For as long as I shall live.
In me set up your ardor's light,
In your Son make me delight
While wayfaring I am.

With this ardor make me commune,
And make me never at all immune
From this great desire.
Splendid maiden of all maidens,
With bitter thought be never laden,
Let me take your baby up.

Make me bear the strength and worth
Of Him who conquers by His birth
All death, giving up His life.
Make me like you be satiated
With the one you bore intoxicated,
In such holy rite.

Raised on high and set ablaze,
All my senses He does daze
By such generous gift.
May the one that you now bear
With word of Christ protect and care
And conserve me with His grace.

When my flesh is no longer living,
Grant me grace of my soul's giving
To vision of the one now born.

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