O Luce qui mortalibus
  • Hello everyone.

    I am looking for a score for the 17th Century French hymn "O Luce qui mortalibus" (or "Great God, Who, Hid From Mortal Sight").
    Thanks in advance.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,566
    Give Hymnary a try: https://hymnary.org/text/great_god_who_hid_from_mortal_sight - it gives a French tune O Luce qui mortalibus.
  • What a lovely text. This is new to me; I'm glad you mentioned it here on the forum!
    Thanked by 1Jehan_Boutte
  • Give Hymnary a try: https://hymnary.org/text/great_god_who_hid_from_mortal_sight - it gives a French tune O Luce qui mortalibus.

    Thank you!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,566
    Here is a somewhat different translation than the Baker translation ("Great God, who hid from mortal sight") found in most hymnals. The meter is still L.M., but the first and third lines of the original text are broken into four syllable rhyming couplets, resulting in an (alternative) meter of 448. 448 (iambic).
    — translation of O luce qui mortalibus
    by Charles Coffin (1676-1749)
    — in Hymns & Verses
    by Louis Fitzgerald Benson (1855-1930)

            I
        O God Most High,
        By mortal eye
    Unseen, Thou hidest in the light,
        Upon whose brink
        E'en angels shrink,
    And veil their faces from the sight.

            II
        'Tis darkness here,
        And, far or near,
    Through deepest shadow lies the way
        Unto the gate —
        And there to wait
    The rising of eternal day.

            III
        The flash of dawn
        So quickly gone,
    The brighter blaze of noontide's ray,
        Like twilight seem
        Beside the gleam
    And glory of that coming day.

            IV
        O golden day,
        So far away,
    Why dost thou linger, yet how long?
        From flesh set free
        The soul must be
    Ere it can join the morning song.

            V
        In chains put by,
        How swift to fly,
    O God, to look upon Thy face!
        Of love to Thee
        Its song shall be,
    Its lasting joy to praise Thy grace.

            VI
        Blest Trinity,
        May Thy gifts be
    Our gracious helpers by the way,
        Till our brief night
        Shall catch the light
    That heralds the eternal day.

  • It is somewhat ironic this gem of the late French Hymnody has many English translations, but only one version in French (and quite a hard one to find).
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen