O prima, Virgo, prodita
  • WJA
    Posts: 237
    As I continue to prepare for the Solemn Vespers on the Vigil of the Feast of the Assumption, I'm looking at the hymn which, according to LU, is "O prima, Virgo, prodita."

    Here's the text:

    O prima, Virgo, pródita
    E Conditóris spíritu,
    Prædestináta Altíssimi
    Gestáre in alvo Fílium;

    Tu perpes hostis fémina
    Prænuntiáta dæmonis,
    Oppléris una grátia
    Intamináta orígine.

    Tu ventre Vitam cóncipis,
    Vitámque ab Adam pérditam,
    Diæ litándæ Víctimæ
    Carnem minístrans, íntegras.

    Merces piáclo débita
    Devícta mors te déserit,
    Almíque consors Fílii
    Ad astra ferris córpore.

    Tanta corúscans glória,
    Natúra cuncta extóllitur,
    In te vocáta vérticem
    Decóris omnis tángere.

    Ad nos, triúmphans, éxsules,
    Regína, verte lúmina,
    Cæli ut beátam pátriam,
    Te, consequámur áuspice.

    Jesu, tibi sit glória,
    Qui natus es de Vírgine,
    Cum Patre et almo Spíritu,
    In sempitérna sæcula.

    Amen.

    As I've mentioned in another thread, we've been directed to sing most of the Vespers in English. Here is the only English translation I've found of this hymn, from Breviary.net:

    O Virgin thou, the spirit's fair’st,
    Predestined by the will divine,
    Within thy sacred womb thou bear’st
    His only Son, and also thine.

    O thou in whom rich grace abounds,
    Foretold thou wast to be the foe
    Who in her origin confounds
    The wicked demon here below.

    Within thy womb anew Life's made,
    The very life by Adam lost
    Hath been renewed by thee, sweet maid,
    Who didst provide the holocaust.

    Thy will immersed in Jesu's own,
    Atoning for the sins of all,
    He raiseth thee to Heaven's throne,
    In victory o'er death's dread thrall.

    In thy great glory burning bright
    Exalted nature sings the praise,
    And unto beauty's very height,
    Dost honour and all glory raise.

    Triumphant Queen to Heaven borne,
    Upon us exiles turn thy sight,
    That to the ever-blessed morn
    We may be guided by thy light.

    All honour, laud, and glory be,
    O Jesu, Virgin-Born, to thee;
    Whom with the Father we adore,
    And Holy Ghost, for evermore.

    Amen.

    ***

    The metre is 8888 (though you have to, annoyingly in my view, make "fairest" fairs't and "bearest" bear'st to make it work). What I'm interested in knowing from those of you who read Latin well, since I don't, is whether this is a decent translation. If it's not particularly close, then I may go with something completely different, maybe a well-known English hymn (any suggestions on that score would be welcome as well).

    WJA
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,972
    See, this is why the Church needs to hire a full-time hymn translator.

    May I also suggest Leo Nestor's Who Is She Ascends So High.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    And I suggest Kathy as the Church's full-time hymn translator.