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Inter coaevi sanguinis
Fluenta solus integer,
Ferrum, quod orbabat nurus,
Partus fefellit Virginis.

Sic dira Pharaonis mali
Edicta quondam fugerat,
Christi figuram praeferens,
Moses, receptor civium.

Matres, quaerelis parcite!
Quid rapta fletis pignora?
Agnum, salutis obsidem,
Denso sequuntur agmine.

'Mid the streams of infant bloodshed

He alone the sword deceived, Offspring scathless, of the Virgin,

Sword which mothers' hearts bereaved.

Thus the people's liberator,

He who Christ's own image bore, Evil Pharaoh's cruel edicts

Moses had escaped before.

Spare, O mothers, your complaining!

Why bewail your offspring lost? They the Lamb, salvation's surety,

Follow in a thronging host.

FORTUNATUS

Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus was of Italian birth, from Treviso, not far from Venice. Born about the year 531, he came into France at the age of thirty-five or thirty-six. His life spanned the period at which the papacy was taking shape in the West and Mohammedanism was emerging in the East. He was a friend of Gregory of Tours, to whom he wrote many letters. He seems to have combined the characters of troubadour and courtier; and he has left many panegyrics and other fulsome writings composed in a style that has little to commend it. The greater part of his life was passed at Poictiers, where he secured ecclesiastical preferment. He was consecrated bishop of Poictiers about the year 595. He was the intimate friend of the Abbess Agnes and of Queen Radegunda; and his friendship for these women has not escaped criticism. “He was,” says Duffield,“ the first of the Christian poets to begin that worship of the Virgin Mary which rose to a passion and sank to an idolatry." He died about the year 609, leaving many hymns of rare beauty and excellence.

FORTUNATUS

DE PASSIONE CHRISTI

Vexilla regis prodeunt,
Fulget crucis mysterium,
Quo carne carnis conditor
Suspensus est patibulo.

Qui vulneratus insuper
Mucrone diro lanceae,
Ut nos lavaret crimine
Manavit unda et sanguine.

Impleta sunt, quae concinit
David fideli carmine,
Dicens: In nationibus
Regnabit a ligno Deus!

Arbor decora et fulgida,
Ornata regis purpura,
Electa digno stipite
Tam sancta membra tangere!

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