Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Advent Lyrics 8 (Christ I cont'd)

Whew! This one was time-consuming! I decided to go with a very sparse line which spreads out the verse over a great deal of space. Maybe that was not good planning, since #8 is pretty long of its own, but I like the breathing room.



Hail Almighty Christ,
peaceable and true
King of All Kings!

Before every majesty
of the entire world
you were conceived

becoming a child
with your Glory-Father
by his craft and his might!

There is now no nobleman
under the windy sky,
no perspicacious man,

surpassingly wise
that he can speak of this
to sea-dwelling men,

or righteously relate
how the Holder of Heaven
in the beginning

hatched you
as his free-born son.

Of the many things
that the kindred of men
have frained among the folk,

what first happened
under the heavens
at the start of the world,

was that Wise God,
the Starting-Point of Life,
divided divinely

light and shadow,
and the power
of judgment was his,

and the Lord of Hosts
ordained this subtle thing:

“Let there become
light from now, evermore
until the end of the world,

a sparkling joy
to all that live
which will be born

in their generation.”
And it happened at once,
when it should be so—

illuminated rays
the tribes of men,
brilliant among the stars,

after the arrival
of the proper time.

He established himself
that you were his Son
dwelling at the same instant

with your Solitary Lord
before any of this
even happened.

You are the wisdom
which created everything
of this spacious creation,

along with the Sovereign.
Therefore there is no one
so quick-witted,

nor so mind-crafty
that can clearly affirm

your inception
to the children of men.

Come now,
Warden of Victories,
Measurer of Mankind,

fixed in grace
reveal to us here
your mercy!

There is in all of us
a great desire to be allowed
to understand

your mother’s kindred,
the righteous mystery,
since we cannot at all

explain any farther
your father’s descent.

Make joyous this middle-earth
mildly through your
coming here, Savior Christ—

command those golden gates
to be opened wide,
which have in days of old,

for a very long time,
stood closed fast,
Highest Lord of Heaven—

and seek us out
through your own arrival
humbly to the earth.

There is need of your mercies!
The cursed wolf,
the beast of death’s shadow,

has brought your flock,
O Lord, to naught,
scattering them widely.

The sheep, my Sovereign,
you bought before
with your blood

which the baleful foe
woefully afflicts,
and takes them captive

for himself,
over the urging
of our desires.

Therefore we, Savior,
entreat you earnestly
with our breasts’ thoughts

that you quickly render us
assistance, weary wretches,
so that the tormenting slayer

may tumble into abjection
to the depths of hell,
and the work of your hands,

Shaper of Heroes,
may arise and arrive
at the right,

into that upward
and noble kingdom,
whence the dark ghast

drew us apart and seduced us
through our sinful lust,
so that we, lacking glory,

must suffer misery
forever without end,
unless you,

Eternal Lord, the Living God,
Helmet of All Creatures,
wish to defend us

more readily,
from the destroyer of peoples. (214-74)

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