Friday, September 21, 2012

Immense caeli conditor

While I am on sabbatical I have turned my hand once more to the translation of Breviary hymns. The goal is an accurate translation that is poetic and singable. And it has to rhyme. Today's hymn, which refers to the setting up of a firmament between the waters above and waters below on the second day of creation, is fittingly sung on the second day of the week (Monday) in weeks one and three of Ordinary Time.

Immense caeli conditor,
qui, mixta ne confunderent,
aquae fluenta dividens,
caelum dedisti limitem,
Boundless Creator, wise and great,
Who made the sky to separate
Waters above from those below,
Lest one into the other flow,
Firmans locum caelestibus,
simulque terrae rivulis,
ut unda flammas temperet,
terrae solum ne dissipet: 
You made one place for clouds and rain,
And one for river, stream, and plain,
That water might the heat allay,
Lest earth dry up and blow away.
Infunde nunc, piissime,
donum perennis gratiae,
fraudis novae ne casibus
nos error atterat vetus.
Into our hearts with kindness pour
The gift of grace forevermore,
Lest ancient wrong find some new way
To snare your flock and make them stray
Lucem fides inveniat,
sic luminis iubar ferat;
haec vana cuncta terreat,
hanc falsa nulla comprimant
So may our faith discover light,
And bear aloft its lantern bright.
This light deceit cannot abide,
Nor empty words its splendor hide.
Praesta, Pater piissime,
Patrique compar Unice,
cum Spiritu Paraclito
regnans per omne saeculum. Amen
Grant it, dear Father, ever one
With Christ our Lord, your only Son,
And with the Spirit equally,
Ruling for all eternity. Amen.

Copyright 2012 Thomas Buffer

No comments: