O Jesus Christ, from Thee Began
Words: Unknown author, circa 9th Century (Jesu quadragenariae); translated from Latin to English by Thomas A. Lacey in The English Hymnal (London: Oxford University Press, 1906), number 69.
Music: “Plaistow,” Magdalen Hymns, 1760 (MIDI, score).
O Jesu Christ, from Thee began
This healing for the soul for man,
By fasting sought, by fasting found
Through forty days of yearly round;
That he who fell from high delight,
Borne down to sensual appetite,
By dint of stern control may rise
To climb the hills of Paradise.
Therefore behold Thy Church, O Lord,
And grace of penitence accord
To all who seek with generous tears
Renewal of their wasted years.
Forgive the sin that we have done,
Forgive the course that we have run,
And show henceforth in evil day
Thyself our succor and our stay.
But now let every heart prepare,
By sacrifice of fast and prayer,
To keep with joy magnifical
The solemn Easter festival.
Father and Son and Spirit blest,
To Thee be every prayer addrest,
Who art in threefold Name adored,
From age to age, the only Lord.
Labels: 9th c., latin