Friday, September 29, 2017
The (unfortunately) fading feast of Michaelmas is still celebrated in some places, and of course we have hymns for the occasion. Today's text is one translation of the Latin office hymn Tibi, Christe, splendor Patris, which was written by Benedictine scholar and theologian Rabanus Maurus (c.780-856), who later became Archbishop of Mainz. He is also known for his "mathematic and geometric" poetry, built around the Cross, which can be seen here.
Life and strength of all thy servants,
Brightness of our Maker’s light;
We with angels, earth with heaven,
In thy praise our songs unite.
Thousand thousand guardian seraphs
In thine angel army stand;
Flames the victor cross before them,
Grasped in Michael’s dauntless hand.
Angel-ruler, Christ, we pray thee,
Bid them aid us in our strife,
Grant protection from all evil,
Till we reach the land of life.
Our Creator, God immortal,
Jesus Christ, for us who died,
With the Comforter, the Spirit,
Evermore be glorified!
Rabanus Maurus, 9th cent.
tr. Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1889; alt.
Tune: MERTON (18.104.22.168.)
William H. Monk, 1850
Nine Years Ago: Around the throne of God
Eight Years Ago: Stars of the morning, so gloriously bright
Seven Years Ago: They are evermore around us
Five Years Ago: O Captain of God's host
Three Years Ago: High on a hill of dazzling light