January 24th, 2012

stabat mater dolorosa

An Old English Praise-song (aka prayer)

Dryhten, næs næfre þin fruma, ne nu næfre þin ende geweorðeð, ne þin miht ateoraþ nænigum þara ðe þin bebodu healdan willað. Ðu eart lifes wyrhta, & þu eart lofsang eallra haligra; þu eart hiht heofendra, & þu eart eallre worulde hælend, & þu eart geswencendra manna rest, & þu eart blindra manna leoht & dumra gesprec & deafra gehyrnes & hreofra clænsung & healtra gang. & eallre biternesse þu eart se sweta swæc, & ealle geunrette magon on þe geblissian, & ðu eart ealra worca wyrhta & ealra wæstma fruma & eallra þystra onlihting, & ealle winsumnesse findað þa ðe þe lufiað. ðu eart se æðela wylla.

Lord, never was your beginning and never will be your end. Your power will never fail for any of those who will hold your commands.  You are the creator of life, and you are the praise-song of all the holy ones; you are the joy of the mournful and you are the savior of the world.  You are the rest of the tired; you are the light of the blind, the speech of the dumb, the hearing of the deaf, the cleansing of the sick and the going of the lame.  You are the sweetness to all bitterness, and all the sad may rejoice in you.  You are the maker of all works and the origin of all fruits and the lighting of all darkness.  Those who love you find all joy.  You are the noble well-spring.*

-- from Vercelli Homily IV

*or, possibly, the source/font of nobility, or possibly even the origin of the race/nation; there are some manuscript issues here as well as some spelling variations and I'm not certain which of several translation options is best.