Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Lauds Even Week, Revisited

I almost finished a roofing project on my garage before the heavy rain hit. So I thought I would revisit the hymn Deus, qui caeli lumen es which was the very first hymn I tackled. I wasn't very satisfied with my understanding of the hymn when I sang it this morning, so I looked around a bit more and found this hymn in Early Christian Hymns by A. S. Walpole. He says the hymn was written by Flavius, bishop of Chalon-sur-Saone (d. 591). I found another reference which says it was a Gallican (written in the land of Gaul, now modern France) hymn, "written in the style of Ambrose" (like most of these hymns we have talked about).

I will revisit some of the vocabulary in this hymn with the help of Walpole and others. Revisions are in bold.

1. Deus qui cæli lumen es
God who are the lamp of heaven
satórque lucis, qui polum
and sower of light, who the sky
patérno fultum bráchio
firmly set upon your fatherly arm
præclára pandis déxtera.
you stretch out by your splendid right hand

2. Auróra stellas iam tegit
The sunrise hides the stars
rubrum sustóllens gúrgitem,
red (sea?) rising up flood
uméctis atque flátibus
humid and breathing(?)
terram baptízans róribus.
drenching the earth with dew

Iam noctis umbra línquitur,
So the shadows of the night dissolve
polum calígo déserit,
the darkness of the sky departs
typúsque Christi, lúcifer
and a model of Christ, the Day-star (Venus?)
diem sopítum súscitat.
awakens the day from its slumber

Dies diérum tu, Deus,
Day of days, you, God,
lucísque lumen ipse es,
and you yourself are the light of all lights
Unum potens per ómnia,
One almighty over all things
potens in unum Trínitas.
almighty Trinity residing in one

Te nunc, Salvátor, quaésumus
You now Savior, we ask
tibíque genu fléctimus,
and to you we bend the knee
Patrem cum Sancto Spíritu
to the Father with the Holy Spirit
totis laudántes vócibus. Amen.
be the praises of all voices.

Stanza 2 still boggles me. The page is missing from Google books Walpole that could help me with that!

Is there anyone out there who could help me?


Dan said...

I'm afraid I can't help you with the latin. But, is it possible you're close with the actual translation while not quite understanding the poetry? It may just be a more obscure, or poetic portion of the hymn.

Maureen said...

The "red flood" is the color of the sky at sunrise, I bet.