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10

Jesu 'mi dulcissime, Domine cælorum,
Conditor omnipotens, Rex universorum,
Quis jam actus sufficit mirari gestorum,
Quæ te ferre compulit salus miserorum ?

Te de cælis caritas traxit animarum,
Pro quibus palatium deserens præclarum,
Miseram ingrediens vallem lacrymarum,
Opus durum suscipis, et iter amarum.

15

Tristatur lætitia, salus infirmatur,
Panis vivus esurit, virtus sustentatur ;
Sitit fons perpetuus, quo cælum potatur;
Et ista quis intuens mira, non miratur ?

20

Oh mira dignatio pii Salvatoris,
Oh vere mirifica pietas amoris ;
Expers culpæ nosceris, Jesu, flos decoris,
Ego tui, proh dolor ! causa sum doloris.

25

Ego heu ! superbio, tu humiliaris ;
Ego culpas perpetro, tu pænâ mulctaris ;
Ego fruor dulcibus, tu felle potaris;
Ego peto mollia, tu dure tractaris.

ST BERNARD.

ST

BERNARD, born in 1091, of a noble family, at

Fontaine in Burgundy, became in 1113 a monk of Citeaux, and in 1115 first abbot of Clairvaux. He died Aug. 20, 1153. There have been other men, Augustine and Luther for instance, who by their words and writings have ploughed deeper and more lasting furrows in the great field of the Church, but probably no man during his lifetime ever exercised a personal influence in Christendom equal to his; who was the stayer of popular commotions, the queller of heresies, the umpire between princes and kings, the counsellor of popes, the founder, for so he may be esteemed, of an important religious Order, the author of a crusade. Besides all deeper qualities which would not alone have sufficed to effect all this, he was gifted by nature and grace with rarest powers of persuasion, (Doctor mellifluus as he was rightly called, though the honey perhaps was sometimes a little too honied,) and seems to have exercised a wellnigh magical influence upon all those with whom he was brought into contact. The hymns which usually go by his name were judged away from him on very slight and insufficient grounds, by Mabillon, in his edition of St Bernard's works. But with the exception of the Cur mundus militat, there is no reason to doubt the correctness of their attribution to him. All internal evidence is in favour of him as their author. If he did not write, it is not easy to guess who could have written, them; and

indeed they bear profoundly the stamp of his mind, being only inferior in beauty to his prose.

XXII. ORATIO RHYTHMICA AD CHRISTUM

A CRUCE PENDENTEM.

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XXII. Bernardi Opp. ed. Bened., Paris, 1719, vol. ii. pp. 916, 919; Mone, Hymn. Lat. Med. Ævi, vol. i. p. 162.-The full title of the poem from which two of its seven portions, each howerer complete in itself, are here drawn, is commonly as follows: Rhythmica oratio ad unum quodlibet membrorum Christi patientis, et a cruce pendentis. I have chosen these two, the first and the last, because in a composition of such length, extending to nearly four hundred lines, it was necessary to make some selection ; yet its other divisions are of no inferior depth or beauty: quæ omnia, as Daniel says with merest truth, omnes divini amoris spirant æstus atque incendia, ut nil possit suavius dulciusque excogitari.

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15. Meorum] So Mone, on good MS. authority. It is a wonderful improvement on tuorum, the ordinary reading; and at once carries conviction with it.

36—40. So Mone; but more commonly the latter half of this strophe is read as follows:

Dulcis Jesu, pie Deus,
Ad te clamo, licet reus,

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Præbe mihi te benignum,
Ne repellas me indignum

De tuis sanctis pedibus. öl. Salve, caput cruentatum] I have observed already how these great hymns of the early or medieval Church served as the foundation of some of the noblest post-Reformation hymns; the later poet, no slavish copyist nor mere translator, yet rejoicing to find his inspiration in these earlier sources. It has been so in the present instance. Paul Gerhard's Passion Hymn

O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden,

Voll Schmerz und voller Hohn! is freely composed upon the model of what follows now.

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