Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December 3

"Angel Playing Flageolet" by Edward Byrne-Jones, 1878

In Dulci Jubilo
sung by The Choir of King's College Chapel, Cambridge

The title of this beautiful carol is translated as "In Sweetest Rejoicing", but is commonly known in English as "Good Christian Men, Rejoice". It is a German/Latin macaronic carol that dates back to the fourteenth century. "Nun singet und seid froh" is said to have been written by the German mystic Heinrich Seuse in 1328. According to the folklore surrounding the carol, Seuse heard angel voices singing the words, and he joined them in a dance of worship.

This particular translation was written in 1837 by Robert Lucas de Pearsall, and in it he retains the original Latin, while switching the German lines to English:

In dulci jubilo
Let us our homage shew:
Our heart's joy reclineth
In praesepio;
And like a bright star shineth
Matris in gremio,
Alpha es et O!

O Jesu parvule,
I yearn for thee alway!
Hear me, I beseech Thee,
O puer optime;
My praying let it reach Thee,
O princeps gloriae.
Trahe me post te.

O patris caritas!
O Nati lenitas!
Deeply were we stained.
Per nostra crimina:
But Thou for us hast gained
Coelorum gaudia,
Qualis gloria!

Ubi sunt gaudia,
If that they be not there?
There are Angels singing
Nova cantica;
And there the bells are ringing
In Regis curia.
O that we were there!

There are Angels singing
And there the bells are ringing
In Regis curia.
O that we were there!
O that we were there!

1 comment:

Nan said...

I may have to ask Ailis to bring me a King's College CD.

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