England's Antiphon eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 247 pages of information about England's Antiphon.

I shall now turn into modern verse a part of “The Canonical Hours,” giving its represented foundation of the various acts of worship in the Romish Church throughout the day, from early in the morning to the last service at night.  After every fact concerning our Lord, follows an apostrophe to his mother, which I omit, being compelled to choose.

  Father’s wisdom lifted high,
    Lord of us aright—­
  God and man taken was,
    At matin-time by night. 
  The disciples that were his,
    Anon they him forsook;
  Sold to Jews and betrayed,
    To torture him took.

  At the prime Jesus was led
    In presence of Pilate,
  Where witnesses, false and fell,
    Laughed at him for hate. 
  In the neck they him smote,
    Bound his hands of might;
  Spit upon that sweet face
    That heaven and earth did light.

  “Crucify him! crucify!”
    They cried at nine o’clock;
  A purple cloth they put on him—­
    To stare at him and mock. 
  They upon his sweet head
    Stuck a thorny crown;
  To Calvary his cross he bears. 
    Pitiful, from the town

  Jesus was nailed on the cross
    At the noon-tide;
  Strong thieves they hanged up,
    One on either side. 
  In his pain, his strong thirst
    Quenched they with gall;
  So that God’s holy Lamb
    From sin washed us all.

  At the nones Jesus Christ
    Felt the hard death;
  He to his father “Eloi!” cried,
    Gan up yield his breath. 
  A soldier with a sharp spear
    Pierced his right side;
  The earth shook, the sun grew dim,
    The moment that he died.

  He was taken off the cross
    At even-song’s hour;
  The strength left and hid in God
    Of our Saviour. 
  Such death he underwent,
    Of life the medicine! 
  Alas! he was laid adown—­
    The crown of bliss in pine!

  At complines, it was borne away
    To the burying,
  That noble corpse of Jesus Christ,
    Hope of life’s coming. 
  Anointed richly it was,
    Fulfilled his holy book: 
  I pray, Lord, thy passion
    In my mind lock.

Childlike simplicity, realism, and tenderness will be evident in this, as in preceding poems, especially in the choice of adjectives.  But indeed the combination of certain words had become conventional; as “The hard tree,” “The nails great and strong,” and such like.

I know I have spoiled the poem in half-translating it thus; but I have rendered it intelligible to all my readers, have not wandered from the original, and have retained a degree of antiqueness both in the tone and the expression.

CHAPTER II.

THE MIRACLE PLAYS AND OTHER POEMS OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY.

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Project Gutenberg
England's Antiphon from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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