Imágenes de páginas

O Alma Redemptoris! high and low :
The sweetness of Christ's Mother pierced so
His heart, that her to praise, to her to pray,
He cannot stop his singing by the way.


The Serpent, Satan, our first foe, that hath
His wasp's nest in Jew's heart, upswelled. 'O woe,
O Hebrew people!' said he in his wrath,

Is it an honest thing? Shall this be so?
That such a Boy where'er he lists shall go
In your despite, and sing his hymns and saws,
Which is against the reverence of our lavs!'


From that day forward have the Jews conspired
Out of the world this Innocent to chase;
And to this end a Homicide they hired,
That in an alley had a privy place,

And, as the Child 'gan to the school to pace,
This cruel Jew him seized, and held him fast
And cut his throat, and in a pit him cast.




that him into a pit they threw,

A loathsome pit, whence noisome scents exhale: O cursed folk! away, ye Herods new!

What may your ill intentions you avail?

Murder will out; certès it will not fail;

Know, that the honor of high God may spread,

The blood cries out on your accursed deed.


Martyr 'stablished in virginity!

Now mayst thou sing aye before the throne,
Following the Lamb celestial," quoth she,
"Of which the great Evangelist, Saint John,
In Patmos wrote, who saith of them that go
Before the Lamb singing continually,
That never fleshly woman they did know.


Now this poor widow waiteth all that night
After her little Child, and he came not;
For which, by earliest glimpse of morning light,
With face all pale with dread and busy thought,
She at the School and elsewhere him hath sought,
Until thus far she learned, that he had been
In the Jews' street, and there he last was seen.


With Mother's pity in her breast inclosed
She goeth, as she were half out of her mind,
To every place wherein she hath supposed
By likelihood her little Son to find;

And ever on Christ's Mother meek and kind
She cried, till to the Jewry she was brought,
And him among the accursed Jews she sought.


She asketh, and she piteously doth pray
To every Jew that dwelleth in that place,
To tell her if her child had passed that way;

They all said, Nay; but Jesu of his grace
Gave to her thought, that in a little space
She for her Son in that same spot did cry
Where he was cast into a pit hard by.


O thou great God that dost perform thy laud
By mouths of Innocents, lo! here thy might;
This gem of chastity, this emerald,

And eke of martyrdom this ruby bright,

There, where with mangled throat he lay upright, The Alma Redemptoris 'gan to sing,

So loud, that with his voice the place did ring.


The Christian folk that through the Jewry went
Come to the spot in wonder at the thing;

And hastily they for the Provost sent;
Immediately he came, not tarrying,

And praiseth Christ that is our Heavenly King,
And eke his Mother, honor of Mankind:

Which done, he bade that they the Jews should bind.


This Child with piteous lamentation then
Was taken up, singing his song alwày;
And with procession great and pomp of men
To the next Abbey him they bare away;
His Mother swooning by the body lay:
And scarcely could the people that were near
Remove this second Rachel from the bier.


Torment and shameful death to every one
This Provost doth for those bad Jews prepare
That of this murder wist, and that anon:
Such wickedness his judgments cannot spare;
Who will do evil, evil shall he bear;

Them therefore with wild horses did he draw,
And after that he hung them by the law.


Upon his bier this Innocent doth lie

Before the altar while the Mass doth last:
The Abbot with his convent's company

Then sped themselves to bury him full fast;
And, when they holy water on him cast,
Yet spake this Child when sprinkled was the water,
And sang, O Alma Redemptoris Mater!


This Abbot, for he was a holy man,

As all Monks are, or surely ought to be,

In supplication to the Child began,

Thus saying: "O dear Child! I summon thee,

In virtue of the holy Trinity,

Tell me the cause why thon dost sing this hymn,


Since that thy throat is cut, as it doth seem.'


My throat is cut unto the bone, I trow,' Said this young Child, and by the law of kind,

I should have died, yea many hours ago,


But Jesus Christ, as in the books ye find,
Will that his glory last, and be in mind;
And, for the worship of his Mother dear,
Yet may I sing, O Alma! loud and clear.


This well of mercy, Jesu's Mother sweet,
After my knowledge I have lived alwày;
And in the hour when I my death did meet,
To me she came, and thus to me did say,
"Thou in thy dying sing this holy lay,"
As have heard; and soon as I had sung,
Methought she laid a grain upon my tongue.


'Wherefore I sing, nor can from song refrain, In honor of that blissful Maiden free, Till from my tongue off-taken is the grain. And after that thus said she unto me: "My little Child, then will I come for thee Soon as the grain from off thy tongue they take: Be not dismayed, I will not thee forsake!"'


This holy Monk, this Abbot, him mean I,
Touched then his tongue, and took away the grair
And he gave up the ghost full peacefully;
And, when the Abbot had this wonder seen,
His salt tears trickled down like showers of rain:
And on his face he dropped upon the ground,
And still he lay as if he had been bound.

« AnteriorContinuar »