Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dead Poets Month V

I've never included Thomas Aquinas in Dead Poets Month, because I have a hard time with translations in general. But Gerard Manley Hopkins was a poet par excellence, and his translation of Adoro Te Devote is itself a masterpiece. Below the text is a clip of the Latin in chant.

Adoro Te Devote
St. Thomas Aquinas

trans. Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.

On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.

O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.


2 comments:

CM said...

I played the video; it makes me happy. I love listening to that, knowing that it has been sung by so many people in so many countries for so many centuries. Thanks for sharing!

Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

OMC thank you SO MUCH for posting this- amazing! Wonderful! I gasped one of those deep chest gasps in awe and wonder. Thank you thank you thank you. Beautiful- and I haven't even watched the video yet!