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A voice in Rama there was heard
Of all-surpassing woe,
With sorrow's overflow.
Who bitter woes have known Whose voice in Rama once was heard
With deep, lamenting groan.
Fear not the treacherous lion's teeth,
Thou little flock and few,
The fields of heaven to you.
Who faithfully pursue,
O little flock and few.
From every face the Father's hand
Shall wipe all tears away,
Shall work you harm for aye.
. And God Himself shall dry all tears
From face of them that weep.
0! quam beata civitas
Adstant nitentes fulgidis
O city, thou art blest indeed!
In which the Saviour came,
First martyrs have their name, 'Mid thousands of the cities thou
As least art ne'er addressed,
O city, thou art blest!
Around His throne in robes of white
A shining band is seen, Who in the Lamb's most precious blood
Have washed their vesture clean. And they who wept with ceaseless groans
For God's dear Fatherland, Rejoicing now with praises bright
Before Him shining stand.
Notker the Elder, called also Balbulus the Stammerer, was born about the year 850. He entered the monastery of St. Gall in Switzerland at an early age. There he cultivated the study of music, in which he excelled. He died in the year 912. He introduced the Sequence, after the Epistle in the service, to take the place of the prolonged final syllable of the Alleluia. The words of the Burial Office,“ In the midst of life we are in death,” are a translation of one of his sequences. The tradition is that he was watching some workmen one day as they were engaged in the construction of a bridge over a chasm near the monastery. One of the workmen fell and was killed. The meditation of Notker upon the event took the form expressed in the words which seem to have been intended to convey the idea of the peril in which all mankind are constantly living: Media vita in morte sumus. It is, properly speaking, a prose composition, although it readily lends itself to verse in the translation.