Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Daily update (Advent Lyric 9)

I've been making a practice recently of sitting over breakfast and coffee these past few days working on the Christ translation while chatting with my Dad and his wife. It has been very productive, and you, the people, reap the benefit. Allow me to present the ninth of the Advent Lyrics from Christ I.



O you are the most famous of middle-earth,
the cleanest queen across the earth—
of those who have been to the ends of life—
how rightfully all speech-bearing men
all over the world, call you and say,
with a blithe mind, that you should be
the bride of the best Dispenser of the Skies.

Likewise, the highest in the heavens,
the thanes of Christ, call out and sing
with holy might that you should be
the lady of the glorious armies,
and of the worldly-kinds, the orders
under heaven, and the denizens of hell also.

Because you alone of all humans,
bold-thinking, gloriously conceived
that you would bring your maiden-head
before the Measurer, giving it to him without sin.

No one like this has been found
no one else among all humankind,
no woman adorned with rings,
who offered this shining gift
afterwards with a pure heart,
to the heavenly hue.

Therefore the First of Victories
ordered his high-herald to fly here
from his majestic might and swiftly
reveal the magnitude of his power,
that you were to conceive
the Son of the Lord through a pure pregnancy
as a mercy to mankind, and you, Mary,
could keep yourself ever afterward
unmarred —

We have also heard that, a certain prophet
soothfast in the days of yore long ago—
he was Isaiah—said this about you:
that he was taken away so he could be shown
the station of life in that eternal home.

Then the prophet so fixed in his wisdom
looked over that inhabited place
until he stared where a noble entryway
was established. The huge door
was bound all over with precious treasure,
girded with amazing braces.

He was convinced that no human
could ever heave up such a fixed bolt
in all eternity, or unlock the fastening
of that city’s gate—before an angel of God
with thoughts of gladness unraveled
that puzzle and spoke these words:

“I can say to you that it will come true:
that God himself, by the power of his Spirit,
the Father Almighty will at a moment to come
shall sanctify these golden gates
and seek out the earth through these fastened locks—
they will stand behind him for eternity,
always and in perpetuity, so closed up
so that no other, except the Savior God,
shall unlock them ever again.”

Now it is fulfilled what the wise man
saw there with his own eyes—
you are the door in the wall,
through which the Wielding Lord
made his journey alone to the earth,
and even so Christ Almighty found you,
adorned with powers, pure and choice.
So the Prince of Angels, Dispenser of Life,
locked you up behind him with his limb-key,
again unblemished by any thing.

Show us now the grace which the angel brought you,
the message-bearer of God, Gabriel.
Indeed the city-dwellers beg you for this,
that you should reveal comfort for the people,
your own son. Afterwards we may be allowed
to celebrate all with a single heart
when we look upon the bairn upon your breast.

Plead for us with your courageous words
so that he will no longer abandon us
in any wise in this deadly valley,
to heed the words of the betrayer,
but instead ferry us into the Father’s realm,
where we without sorrow may afterwards
dwell in glory with the God of Hosts. (275-347)

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