Scande coeli limina - English translation
  • WGS
    Posts: 279
    Can anyone help me with an English translation - as literal as possible - of Mozart's Scande coeli limina? This text seems to be related to the monastic offertory for St. Benedict's July 11 feast day.
  • Maureen
    Posts: 671
    You know, it's really annoying when I sign in, and then the site signs me out after I submit a translation. Just saying.

    Iffy Latin lyrics from an iffy source. Do not trust, unless they agree with what you've got.
    The first part is a prayer about St. Benedict, and the last line seems to be a quote from him, or at least words put into his mouth....

    Scande coeli limina,
    anima sanctissima
    per lampadum luces
    Quos superi duces
    Itineris obviam dant.
    Sed quaeso quid nati
    Qui tacti amore
    Afflicti dolore
    Hic orphani stant,
    Cara o pignora, protegam vos
    coeli ut patria societ nos.

    Ascend the heavens' thresholds,
    most holy soul,
    by the lamps' light
    Which those above give you as guides
    Along your journey.
    But I beg that sons
    Who are stricken with love,
    Afflicted with sorrow,
    stand here orphans.
    O precious pledge! "I will protect you
    From Heaven, so that the Father's land may unite us."

    Patria means fatherland and hence homeland, but it definitely means the Father's kingdom in this case. The sons are the Benedictines. "Children" would also be correct, I suppose, and there are female Benedictines too.
  • WGS
    Posts: 279
    Thanks, Maureen.

    I have passed your translation to my friend who reviews the Latin spellings and translations for the local St. Benedict church.
  • Maureen
    Posts: 671
    You are welcome.

    And vetting is a very good idea, because my knowledge of Latin is full of unexpected holes....