Adoro Te Devote
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    Yesterday I finished a project I started in my Colloquium-issued PBC, a translation of Adoro Te Devote, one of the 5 Eucharistic hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas.

    Having looked through all the translations I know of, I still wonder if there are translations out there that might be "better" than mine, in terms of simplicity, accuracy, and usefulness. If so, I may have to take steps to improve this. If not, maybe I can move on!

    I've seen Crashaw's excellent hymn (St. Michael's hymnal has it), and I love it though it's a bit wild, and Hopkins', of course, and the ones that start Humbly, we adore Thee. Surely there are others.

    This is the tone I take:

    With devotion I adore
    You, O God concealed;
    Hidden under figures here,
    yet by faith revealed.
    Even prayer is silent now.
    All my heart bows low.
    Deepest truth is present here,
    More than minds can know.

    ***

    Jesus, hidden from my eyes,
    Bring me to that place
    Where your saints in endless joy
    See you face to face.
    How I long to gaze on you
    Through eternity.
    Blest are they who trust in you
    And your glory see.
  • JennyJenny
    Posts: 147
    Kathy, this is wonderful! It preserves the beauty and 'stateliness' of the Latin but is easily comprehensible as you sing it. Some of the other translations are beautiful but have a poetic syntax that is hard to make sense of as you sing. Thank you!
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    Thanks, Jenny, good, I was aiming to be clear above all. The original has that quality as well--very simple.
  • G
    Posts: 1,383
    Nobili simplicitate.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • Though my favourite translation of this is the very 'singable' and flowing one in The Hymnal 1940 (the matching missing stanzas may be found in The [1940] Hymnal Companion), I very much like your translation. There is a very artful potency, perhaps pure intellect, to the Hopkins; but it doesn't have the rhythmic fluidity or the subtlety of that of the 1940. Both have, in different ways, a quite colourful imagery. As for yours - there is a nice freshness and simplicity to it which is really engaging. 'Jesus, hidden from my eyes' I take to be the last stanza. I should like to see your version of all the others. Please keep sharing your work.
  • Kathy, I'm loving this Adoro te devote, please send more stanzas when you wish.
    Speaking of simple quality in the original- is Lauda Sion on your list? I know that's greedy. Oh, oh, one more- Veni, Creator Spiritus.
  • Just wish to add my voice to the chorus of admirers; this is excellent thus far (for all the reasons stated above).
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    Actually, Singing Mum, I had something particular in mind for you. I had to finish this first but am now free to work on a hymn to St. Anne, if it's not too late for your Mass! Stay tuned, hope to have something by next weekend.

    Jackson, I could email the rest if you'd like and would appreciate suggestions.

    The 1940 version (I just happen to have the 1940 at my bedside) is excellent. I especially like lines 3, 5-6b, and 9-10. The whole 4th verse captures very well the ardor and pleading tone of the original verse 7.

    There must be other versions as well, but, like Thomas' God, "hidden." I can only imagine that scores of early 20th century school teaching nuns made good efforts, for example.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    Thank you, Aristotle.

    The original has helped form me in making truer acts of faith--if that makes sense. So I'm hoping to help others in that way as well.
  • Heath
    Posts: 798
    Kathy,

    Yes, this looks great; please put the whole thing on your blog so I can save it in on my bloglines account!

    A link to the 1940 Hymnal version, please?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    Thanks, Heath!

    As far as I can tell, the 1940 version is still under copyright. You might be able to google it though.

    I'm going to have to keep my version under wraps for now, until the Intellectual Property revolution really gets underway.
  • Kathy - I would indeed like it if you wanted to send me the others.
    My e-mail is accessible by clicking onto my name.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,529
    The 1940 Hymnal is pretty easy to get as a used book.
  • G
    Posts: 1,383
    The 1940 Hymnal is pretty easy to get as a used book.


    Indeed... I picked one up when, during a month of rehearsing some children's theatre in an Episcopal church basement, I noticed what was being used to prop up a table with one short leg.
    I brought an unwanted and similar sized hardcover from home and substituted it.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
    Thanked by 1Jahaza
  • This is beautiful Kathy!

    I've recently been asked to put a small choir of students together to sing for Holy Mass next Thursday at a local high school. I would love to see and possibly sing your version if that would be okay with you. I believe your translation would be very helpful with the transition that must be made at this school, considering the type of music they're used to.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    Look for my email, and thanks for your kind words!
  • The text in the 1940 would seem to be copyright, however, the 1982 version includes 3 vs from the 1940 and one new vs designated "1982" so that also would seem to indicate new material added, which would normally be noted with "alt." [the 1940 text shows as its source, "Hymnal Version 1939"]

    The extremely precise and accurate copyright notice section in the 1982 shows that this text is not copyrighted.

    This happens occasionally when the person responsible decides not to lock it up in copyright or when it is not original material, which appears to be the case here.

    There is so far in the PBEH collection one modern hymn that was not copyrighted, which was very surprising and required extensive research to determine that this was not a mistake, but the intention of the creators.
  • I don't have my '40 here at my desk. I think I remember and "Acknowledgements" index in the back of the hymnal. If the hymn is not mentioned there, then it should be clear.
  • Re Noel's observations above -
    The translation in The Hymnal 1940, like that of the 1982, is that of the Monastic Diurnal 1932 (largely the work of Canon Winfred Douglas) - except for the last stanza for which, it seems, the editors of the 1982 wanted to avoid the nice word, 'descry', etc. Following, here, are the stanzas of this translation which are missing in both 1940 and 1982. There is, I think, no version more lovely.
    3)On the Cross lay hidden but thy Deity.
    Here, too, is concealed thy Humanity;
    But in both believing and confessing, Lord,
    Ask I what the dying thief of thee implored.

    4) Thy dread wounds, like Thomas, though I cannot see,
    His be my confession, Lord and God, of thee.
    Lord, my faith unfeigned evermore increase;
    Give me hope unfailing, love that cannot cease.

    6) Pelican of mercy, Jesu, Lord and God,
    Cleanse me, wretched sinner, in thy precious Blood;
    Blood, whereof one drop for human kind outpoured,
    Might from all transgression have the world restored.

    The above is gleaned from The Hymnal 1940 Companion, which also gives the tune as being from the Paris Processionale of 1697... rather recent!
  • And, after all of this, hymnary.org establishes that VS. 1-3 are copyright 1940 by the Church Pension Fund.
  • I've never seen a more complicated copyright web than the one that relates to hymnals. It is just stunning and overwhelming. I can fully see why (now) the Boston Choir School can't put out the Marier book. You have to have large legal teams to navigate this. What a relief it will be once we have all this clean, clear, public domain hymns available! Liberation.

    By the way, someone told me last night something that I feel I should have known but I didn't know, which is very surprising to me. Apparently the licenses to use the missalettes expires that day after the liturgical year ends, and that it is a violation of contract to even keep them around, that they MUST be destroyed as soon as the new issue becomes liturgical applicable. Is this something that everyone else has already known? I keep thinking that I know the worst of it and yet there is always something even worse.

    I don't even understand how this is possible. I mean, can the publisher of Harry Potter really insist that the owner of the book destroy the book one year from today? I've never heard of this in publishing. It sounds nuts. Is it possible that this information is just wrong?
  • Update: it is true!

    My Music Issue/Breaking Bread books are in great shape. Can I get a license to use them for another year?

    Licenses cannot be obtained to continue the use of outdated materials.


    Perhaps they don't have to be destroyed. But you can be sued for singing from them?
  • There is something awfully...wrong...with this kind of a world.

    Someone, anyone, name another denomination that exists in this kind of an economic circle that encourages the mass cutting of trees? It's like blaming no meat on Fridays on the new england fishermen in need of work...are there bands of happy woodcutters out there behind all this?
  • This was one of the first things I learned when I started working at the Cathedral. I could hardly believe such a stupid policy. It is the only denomination that engages in such absurd publishing habits.

    Donna
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,036
    I am very surprised that no one has mentioned the translation by Gerald Manley Hopkins. It is a great work of art.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    Hopkins is a great poet, but I suspect his poetry depends upon having much greater freedom than he could enjoy in translating Adoro te devote. Hymn translation is a fiercely confined endeavor. When someone is writing an original hymn, an avenue of thought which proves difficult to cast into rhyme and meter can easily be avoided: one simply travels down a more available road. In a translation, though, one has to repeat another's thoughts, not one's own. By convention, hymns must be end-stopped; each line must exist as a whole, without flowing into the next line. Also by convention, a hymn's meaning should be clear without much extra study. These are enormous constraints to place on any real poet, but particularly on a poet like Hopkins, who in his poems often radically adjusts syntax and metrical stresses to express his astonishing flow of ideas. He's a genius, and set along side his works of genius, the translation does not compare well, it seems to me.
  • I cast another vote for the Hopkins translation. It is compelling! Lucid! Pure intellect!
    Kathy -
    Begging to differ with you: there are numerous, very fine, hymns having lines that are not 'end-stopped'.
    One favourite that comes immediately to mind is...

    Not in that poor lowly stable,
    with the oxen standing by,
    we shall see him; but in heaven,
    set at God's right hand on high;
    when like stars his children crowned,
    all in white shall wait around.

    And, one more that comes to mind...

    Come, ye faithful, raise the strain
    of triumphant gladness.
    God hath brought his Israel
    into joy from sadness;
    loosed from Pharaoh's bitter yoke
    Jacob's sons and daughters;
    led them with unmoisten'd foot
    through the Red Sea waters.

    (There can hardly be a more excruciatingly poetic expression than 'led them with unmoisten'd foot'! Can you think of an equal?)
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    There are degrees of enjambment. Consider this from Hopkins:

    The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
    Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

    Hopkins freely--delightfully--separates the adjective "crushed" from its noun! An adjective, out of an entire sentence, is isolated. Nothing close to this occurs in time-tested English hymnody. A sentence can be broken by line divisions into phrases or clauses, but not into words.

    According to your lining, the even-numbered, continued lines of Come, Ye Faithfful, are
    -line 2, prepositional phrase
    -line 4, prepositional phrase
    -line 6, the entire direct object
    -line 8, prepositional phrase
  • Hardly a day goes by on this forum that I do not have to open a dictionary...enjabment. Sounds like something useful to get a soprano's attention.

    "Yes, I saw that she was going to miss that entrance, but one quick enjabment and she came in on cue!"
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    Noel, it's enjambment with two m's. As in, "The tenor stood so high on his toes to reach that note that he lost his balance and almost fell over the enjambment."
  • Heath
    Posts: 798
    Gosh, I can't tell you how much I love reading these discussions on hymnody . . . and realizing how little I know about the nuts and bolts of the topic.

    Friends, any materials you'd recommend for someone that wants to analyze hymnody beyond just "CM", "8.6.8.6.", etc.?
  • Kathy, I am a great admirer of your translation work. I look forward to reading this translation in its entirety.

    The familiar translation of Adoro te devote in my mind is that by Woodford (and the other is that of Canon Douglas in the 1940 Hymnal & Companion). The Woodford may be found in "The New English Hymnal" at No. 308. James Woodford (1820-85)

    THEE we adore, O hidden Saviour, thee,
    Who in thy Sacrament art pleased to be;
    Both flesh and spirit in thy presence fail,
    Yet here thy presence we devoutly hail.

    O blest memorial of our dying Lord,
    Who living bread to men doth here afford!
    O may our souls for ever feed on thee,
    And thou, O Christ, for ever precious be.

    Fountain of goodness, Jesu, Lord and God,
    Cleanse us, unclean, with thy most cleansing blood;
    Increase our faith and love, that we may know
    The hope and peace which from thy presence flow.

    O Christ, whom now beneath a veil we see,
    May what we thirst for soon our potion be,
    To gave on thee unveiled, and see thy face,
    The vision of thy glory and thy grace.

    -- James Woodford (1820-85)
  • Clearly, I misapprehended the sense that was signaled by 'end-stopped'.
  • G
    Posts: 1,383
    someone told me last night something that I feel I should have known but I didn't know, which is very surprising to me. Apparently the licenses to use the missalettes expires that day after the liturgical year ends, and that it is a violation of contract to even keep them around, that they MUST be destroyed as soon as the new issue becomes liturgical applicable. Is this something that everyone else has already known? I keep thinking that I know the worst of it and yet there is always something even worse.


    When I first encountered Breaking Bread I was helping out at an impoverished parish that was using an edition that was 3 or 4 years old.
    I saw that notice right away and told the liturgist/parish administrator who, it turned out, was surprised but didn't care.
    I mentioned it to the MD at another parish, that used a seasonal disposable from one of the other publishers, (don't remember which.)
    She was alarmed because they kept current in the "big church" but used last year's for a childrens' choir and outdoors and for "portables" at nursing homes, cemeteries and for processions.
    She told me a few days later that she had "made a phone call" and that their publisher did not have the same licensing agreement policy.
    I never checked it out myself, and don't know if this is true, (not suggesting she lied, but she may not have gone to the horse's mouth.)
    I think she may have been using LitPress, but am not sure -- I am moderately sure that their Sacred Song is licensed that way and must be destroyed at year's end.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • If you want history of Hymn Tunes and words/authors, a good place to start would be The Companion to the Hymnal for Anglican Hymnals. Other denominations have a corresponding book, I believe.

    Donna
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    Jackson, I apologize, it may well be that I misunderstood you.

    Heath, I would totally recommend browsing through Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology. It's available online in two parts, well indexed for browsing. Academic libraries with church music programs are likely to have a copy. The book is like an encyclopedia of English hymns. It's great to just search for a hymn or hymnwriter, read the article, and then follow the links to other hymns etc.

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/julian_j/hymn1.html
    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/julian_j/hymn2.html

    This looks interesting as well: http://www.hymnary.org/

    Hymnal companions are great too. I would also recommend browsing back issues of The Hymn, the journal of the Hymn Society of United States and Canada. I cannot vouch for this organization's hymn publishing and conference endeavors of the last several decades, which have been horizontally-oriented in large part. Their leadership is changing and perhaps there may be a renewal, which I would very much like to see. But in any case The Hymn has some great scholarship.
  • Kathy, Ah! It's from the French enjambement, meaning "straddling" or "bestriding". The tenor was straddling the moat at it's thinnest part, but the bass said, "You, fool! I said it would be best riding across the moat." The tenor to answer and, losing his balança (his mother was from Portugal), fell into the moat with a rather musical splash.
  • I prepared two composite versions which I will post here. I am unhappy with the inversions. I'd be happy to hear suggestions.

    The famed translation by Canon Douglas in Hymnal 1982, Hymnal 1940, and the Monastic Diurnal was heavily dependent upon the John Mason Neale Translation, which I found, unaltered, in Songs of Syon. ROM


    Humbly I adore Thee
    Adoro te devote
    1. Humbly I adore thee, | Lord of endless might,
    In the mystic symbols, | veiled from earthly sight;
    Lo, to thee surrendered, | my whole heart is bowed,
    Tranced as it beholds thee, | shrined within the cloud.
    2. Taste, and touch, and vision | to discern thee fail;
    Faith that comes by hearing, | pierces through the veil.
    What God’s Son has told me, | take for truth I do;
    Truth himself speaks truly | or there’s nothing true.
    3. On the Cross lay hidden | thy Divinity,
    Here is hidden also | thy Humanity:
    Both are my confession, | both are my belief,
    And I pray the prayer | of the dying thief.
    4. Thy dread wounds, like Thomas, | though I cannot see,
    His be my confession, | Lord and God, of thee,
    Let my faith grow deeper, | evermore increase,
    Give me hope unfading, | love that cannot cease.
    5. O memorial wondrous | of the Lord’s own death!
    Living Bread, that givest | all thy creatures breath,
    Grant my spirit ever | by thy life may live,
    To my taste thy sweetness | never–failing give.
    6. Pelican of mercy, | Jesus, Lord and God,
    Cleanse me, wretched sinner, | in thy Precious Blood:
    Blood whereof one drop poured | has the power to win
    All the world forgiveness | from the stain of sin.
    7. Jesus, whom now hidden | I by faith behold,
    What my soul doth thirst for, | that thy Word foretold:
    That thy Face beholding | I at last may see,
    In the glorious vision, | Lord and God, of thee. Amen.
    Text: Thomas Aquinas, thirteenth century; trans. Composite of Hopkins and Neale; first line from Edmund Stuart Palmer, based on the author’s original text in Swahili, Yesu Bin Mariamu. Prepared by RLS. This text is released to the public domain.
    Tune: Adoro devote; Dun Aluinn; Swahili [Warum sind der thränen]; Ghent
    Meter: 11.11.11.11 [6.5.6.6.D]
    Godhead here in hiding
    Adoro te devote
    1. Godhead here in hiding, | whom I do adore,
    Masked by these bare shadows, | shape and nothing more;
    See, Lord, at your service | low a heart lies here
    Lost, all lost in wonder | at the God so near.
    2. Seeing, touching, tasting | are in you deceived;
    “How,” says trusty hearing? | That shall be believed;
    What God’s Son has told me, | take for truth I do;
    Truth himself speaks truly | or there’s nothing true.
    3. On the Cross lay hidden | but your Deity;
    Here is also hidden | your Humanity:
    Both are my confession, | both are my belief,
    And I pray the pray’r made | by the dying thief.
    4. I am not like Thomas, | wounds I cannot see,
    But can plainly call you | Lord and God as he:
    This faith each day deeper | be my holding of,
    Give me hope unfailing, | and unceasing love.
    5. O most sweet Reminder | of Christ crucified,
    Living Bread, the life of | all for whom he died,
    Lend this life to me then: | feed and feast my mind,
    There you are the Sweetness | we were meant to find.
    6. Pelican of mercy, | Jesus, Lord and God,
    Cleanse me, though a sinner, | in your Precious Blood;
    Make me spotless, Jesus, | by your Blood alone,
    That for all the world’s sin | can one drop atone.
    7. Jesus, whom I gaze at | shrouded here below,
    I beseech you send me | what I thirst for so,
    Some day to behold you | face to face in light
    And be blest for ever | with your glory’s sight.
    Text: 11.11.11.11; Adoro to devote, ascribed to St. Thomas Aquinas, 1225?–1274; tr. by Robert L. Stoltz, b. 1955, based on Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889), and John M. Neale (1818–1866). This text is released to the public domain.
    Tune: Mode 5, French ecclesiastical melody; Processionale, 1697, Paris
  • TCJ
    Posts: 607
    By the way, someone told me last night something that I feel I should have known but I didn't know, which is very surprising to me. Apparently the licenses to use the missalettes expires that day after the liturgical year ends, and that it is a violation of contract to even keep them around, that they MUST be destroyed as soon as the new issue becomes liturgical applicable. Is this something that everyone else has already known? I keep thinking that I know the worst of it and yet there is always something even worse.


    I heard about this shortly after I began working my first job. I still keep an old copy around because I like to use them for reference and also for the few decent hymns that I know will one day be removed in future versions. Plus, quite often the words change in the newer ones which is incredibly annoying.

    Maybe start another topic so we can rant about this some more without derailing the original one?
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,730
    It got changed a bit in H82 and the newer ELW, but F. von Christerson's "Eternal spirit of the living God" to Adoro te in the Lutheran Book of Worship originally had a nightmare of a 3rd verse:

    Come with the strength I lack, bring vision clear

    Of human need, oh give me eyes to see

    Fulfillment of my life in love outpoured....
  • One of the first things I look for in a translation of this is how the text fits the original music. I.E. - often two syllables are given to podati which should have only one, and the climacus in the second line is often given more than one syllable. All of which means that the original metre is savaged due to the incompetence of the translator, and the tune is amateurishly mis-used. This is most common in Catholic books.