Friday, December 12, 2008

December 13

"Madonna della Paglia": Madonna of the Straw
Sir Anthony Van Dyck (Flemish, 1599-1641)

Dormi, Jesu!
(The Virgin's Cradle-Hymn)
Words by S. T. Coleridge, arranged by John Rutter
sung by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge

Dormi, Jesu! Mater ridet
Quae tam dulcem somnum videt,
Dormi, Jesu! blandule!

Si non dormis, Mater plorat,
Inter fila cantans orat,
Blande, veni, somnule.

Sleep, sweet babe! my cares beguiling:
Mother sits beside thee smiling;
Sleep, my darling, tenderly!

If thou sleep not, mother mourneth,
Singing as her wheel she turneth:
Come, soft slumber, balmily!

The lyrics of Dormi Jesu were taken from an original Latin verse found under an engraving by Hieronymus Wierix, titled "The Virgin Sewing While Angels Rock Her Son to Sleep". English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a poetic version of the Latin verse, which he then published in Sibylline Leaves under the title The Virgin's Cradle-Hymn, in 1817.

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