Hymn Text for Discussion
  • Would forum members please polish to Pluth-like perfection the below draft lyrics honouring Blessed Charles of Austria. (The tune the text was written to fit is Austria.)

    Blessed Charles who ruled an empire
    in the service of a King
    and, calm, bore, with His uniting,
    thine own share of suffering,
    may we likewise tread His footsteps
    in our several walks of life
    and, thy prayers and merits aiding,
    come to reign above the strife.

    Blessed Charles who now attendest
    at the throne of Calvary,
    be our friend at court. Obtain us
    favours of thy charity.
    In this great communion suppliants
    to the Sacred Heart commend
    that our prayers before His altar
    in the presence may ascend.

    Blessed Charles whose sense of duty
    when the world convulsed in war
    urged thee strive for peace, that virtue,
    that discernment we implore.
    Pray our Queen and politicians
    thine example emulate.
    May the will of God be upmost
    in their efforts for the state.

    Blessed Charles who, on this morning,
    pledged to thine imperial bride,
    mutual aid to enter heaven,
    help us also reach thy side.
    To each husband be exemplar,
    intercessor for his wife,
    that, despite all opposition,
    ever flourish family life.

    Blessed Charles, the saints and angels,
    those who yearn, those who yet race
    raise one hymn of exaltation
    at thy triumph by God’s grace:
    “Glory be to God the Father
    and to His co-equal Son
    with the Holy Ghost who reigneth
    while eternal ages run.”
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,956
    The first verse has a reference to "His uniting". Since this is capitalized, I take it this is a reference to God or Christ; but you need to be specific. Otherwise "His" has no antecedent. And even after you clear up the antecedent, what does "with His uniting/with God's uniting/with Christ's uniting" mean here?

    Also, the verse is not consistent in its use of the antique "thou" style. At first the verb "ruled" is modern, which implies you are addressing Charles as "you". The same goes for "bore". To correspond with the "thou" pronoun, they would be "ruledst" and "borest".

    So this needs work. Still, like the curate's egg: parts of it are excellent.
    Thanked by 1Cliens_Caroli
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,520
    Personally, I've never actually heard him called "Charles" before, only "Karl"; sort of like St. Juan Diego - the first time I saw the Ordo list him as St. John Diego, I did a double take, and it took me a moment to figure out who they meant.

    Some names are usually Anglicized, but I don't think Karl should be one of them.
    Thanked by 2melofluent CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,197
    I have an icon of him, and he is often referred to as Blessed Emperor Charles of Austria. Karl is also good. Some are also working for the beatification of Empress Zita, his wife. She resolved to spend her time after the death of her husband praying for the people of their former lands. She was a very devout Catholic.
  • I agree: Karl... not Charles
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,213
    ... not Charles
    There are enough of us already.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,197
    There will never be enough of us. Is it our fault if the world can not deal with us? LOL.
  • Annabel
    Posts: 12
    I think the hymn has some wonderful imagery.

    The idea in the second verse of the saints as God’s courtiers is lovely. Is it original?

    There are also some very fine turns of phrase but, in other places, the language is a bit “wooden”.

    For example, in the first verse, the people singing have “several” walks of life. I imagine this means that they have one each (and that, like Bl. Charles, everyone should till whatever part of the field has been allotted to him – even if it is quite unlike the part that was allotted to Bl. Charles) but the word sounds as if it has been lifted from a legal document. The extended metaphor of treading Christ’s footsteps in my own walk of life, however, is a good one.

    I also can’t imagine singing the word “politicians”, though they no doubt need our prayers. (Is it lèse-majesté to pray for the Queen in the same line as the politicians?) I suspect “statesmen” would better suit the register of this hymn but I suppose that word would fall foul of inclusive language. By the way, I support your t-v choice for this hymn (and the verb forms that go with it): it sounds right for an Edwardian Emperor to be a “thou” rather than a “you”.

    Referencing the Empress Zita, Bl. Charles’ own words to her and his feast day on their wedding anniversary was a great idea for a verse on marriage. Talk about needing our prayers!

    Out of curiosity, do the holy souls break off their writhing to rejoice when someone else enters into the beatific vision?
    Thanked by 1Cliens_Caroli
  • Is it lese-majeste to pray for the Queen in the same line as the politicians?

    Yes!
    Definitely!
    Purple or not!
    Definitely!
  • bumped for his birthday
  • also can’t imagine singing the word “politicians”, though they no doubt need our prayers. (Is it lèse-majesté to pray for the Queen in the same line as the politicians?) I suspect “statesmen” would better suit the register of this hymn but I suppose that word would fall foul of inclusive language.


    Since the O-P will need something which fits the meter, could he use "public servants" instead of politicians?

    One should not treat the Queen as a politician, for by her position she is non-political, but also for the reason that politician is an insult and Queen (usually) is not.

    As to "inclusive" language, it isn't, so don't worry about it.
  • A revision/rewrite of Stanzas 1-3:

    King rejected by thy people,
    Emp'ror banished from thy throne:
    Noble heart that was unbroken
    by the treason of thine own,
    Like thy King, whose path thou troddest,
    Thou once laid thy glory by,
    And through thy humiliation
    reign'st with Him above the sky.

    Blessed Charles thou attendest
    at the Paschal Victim's side.
    Be our friend at court; obtain us
    ever with Him to abide.
    In this great communion aid us,
    suppliants to His Heart commend,
    help the prayers entrusted to thee
    in His presence to ascend.

    Who for peace hast lonely striven
    As the world was rent by strife,
    Help us calmly face with virtue
    Those who hunger for our life.
    Pray for those who rule and guide us,
    For our Queen now intercede;
    May their striving be God's goodness,
    Their reliance be God's speed.
  • Out of curiosity, do the holy souls break off their writhing to rejoice when someone else enters into the beatific vision?


    I don't see why they wouldn't. Probably a breath of fresh air. Purgatory differs from Hell in that the pain isn't unrelenting. Hope doesn't exist in Hell.
    Thanked by 1Cliens_Caroli
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,956
    NihilNominis, can you check through the verbs in stanza 1? They should all be thou-forms, but a few aren't: "was unbroken", "laid".

    In this case, switching to the modern "you" might make for a cleaner text, without having to resort to apostrophes and truncated syllables.

    In v2., the first line doesn't correspond to the meter yet, so that's a detail to check.
  • chonak,

    Good spot on the verbs! My subject was "heart" but I am still in direct address, aren't I?

    I had understood the preference of Cliens_Caroli to be for the archaic forms.

    As for v. 2, "Char-les" is two syllables in my book!

    King rejected by thy people,
    Emp'ror banished from thy throne:
    Noble heart that wert unbroken
    by the treason of thine own,
    Like thy King, whose path thou troddest,
    Thou hast laid thy glory by,
    And through thy humiliation
    reign'st with Him above the sky.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,213
    "Char-les" is two syllables in my book!

    Not sure what book your reading/learning from, but it's "Chahlz" in my book. I doubt that "Char-ley" or "Chu-cky" would do. Perhaps "Bless'd King Charles"?
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,956
    Charles can be treated as two syllables. In French.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,896
    Well, he wasn't French or Charles but Karl (Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Marie) or Károly (Ferenc József Lajos Hubert György Mária).

    The historiographical trend in the past century has been away from automatic Anglicization of European regnal names to a shift to using the actual usage except where it would be more confusing. There's a *practical* reason for this trend (and in the age of word processing, abetted by the fact that type is easier to manipulate, as it were), more so than ideological: it allows quicker distinction between Philippe II (of France) versus Felipe II (of Castile-Aragon (who was also Filipe I of Portugal, et cet.))

    It's not like English has ever been consistent about Anglicization anyway: when was the last time the first name of the late decapitated Queen of France was referred to as Mary? (Don't even get me started on the pronunciation of "Maria" in English- Mah-REE-ah vs Mah-RYE-ah (the latter used to be more common), then there's MAH-ree-ah...)

    Thanked by 1chonak
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    Liam, this is where ecclesiastical Latin is important: you have Mary, and then you have a sea. I don’t know where the middle pronunciation came from, and it seems now to be reserved for “Mariah.” Also: Joseph or Josef?

    Interestingly, “Char–uls” is how I say “Charles.” It is closer to one syllable with the rest kinda getting lost in French, IMHO, but yes, Karl will do.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,896
    Then there's American:

    Chip/Chuck (Frank Joe Lou Bert...)
  • I don't think it would be a stretch to sing a properly-pronounced "Charles" as two syllables.

    Tscha-uhls. Like a liquescent on the first syllable of "audivit," for instance.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,896
    In Amurkan, it will be Tchar-earls.
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,956
    Isn't that something done in Irish folk music?
  • Xav
    Posts: 23
    I thought Charles and Karl were interchangeable in the original with one syllable each.
    I like how "Blessed Charles (or Karl)" starts each verse. (If he gets an upgrade it will be a metrical problem.)
    I am not allergic to thou/thee/thy as some hymnal editors seem to be. I think it sounds natural in the original but wert and troddest sound a bit affected. I agree with Chonak that a you/your rewrite might work provided the result doesn't sound Bowdlerised.
    I think the idea in the first original verse that Charles (or Karl) displayed heroic sanctity by ruling as a Christian and uniting his sufferings to the sufferings of Christ gets a bit lost in NihilNominis' rewrite which makes it seem that being overthrown was what mattered. (The Bible Society has put out a little book for The Queen's 90th birthday called The Servant Queen: and the King she serves. They must have pinched Cliens_Caroli's idea.)
    I think the identification of throne, altar and cross in the original verse 2 is genius.
  • Xav,

    Remember, he wasn't overthrown; he never abdicated.

    Regnavit a ligno Deus

    I suppose I did beat it to death, but the unrecognized king, rejected by his people, reigning really and by right but unacknowledged in the midst of his suffering was too good.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,896
    He was overthrown and deposed; murder is not needed for that to be true. A republic was declared in both Austria and Hungary (a kingdom was later set up in the latter, of course, but there was a gap in continuity, and the successor entity had a fictional relationship to the former kingdom as a legal organism).
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I love the prosecution of my Christian name, and all that Chaz.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,896
    OK, Chip.
  • Thankyou all for your contributions so far.

    I don't want to make an "artist's statement" because the lyric ought to speak for itself.

    This could be interpolated as a fifth verse. (I would also swap verses 3 and 4 around.)

    Blessed Karl who as an exile
    strovest still God’s will to do
    though the way ahead was clouded
    and its hardships only grew,
    should this chalice pass not by me
    by the glories thou hast won
    aid me in my trials that, like thee,
    I may say, “God’s will be done.”
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,956
    Maybe it would be useful, for the purpose of organizing thoughts, to write down *in prose* the points of Bl. Karl's life you want to highlight, and what intercessions you want the hymn to make. What is most important? What theological messages are you trying to convey? In what order do you want to deal with the various aspects?

    As for this draft, this verse shifts from "we"-speech to "I"-speech, so that's not consistent with what goes before.

    "This chalice" would make sense if the previous stanzas were about some impending threat of death, but they aren't, so I can't see a justification for the term. Come to think of it, the idea of using "this chalice" to refer to one's own sufferings at all is shocking to me.