Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
I. The Divine Element—(God, Christ, the Holy Spirit)
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Jacopone da Todi (c. 1230–1306)
From the Latin by Abraham Coles

STOOD the afflicted mother weeping,
Near the cross her station keeping
  Whereon hung her Son and Lord;
Through whose spirit sympathizing,
Sorrowing and agonizing,        5
  Also passed the cruel sword.
Oh! how mournful and distressèd
Was that favored and most blessèd
  Mother of the only Son,
Trembling, grieving, bosom heaving,        10
While perceiving, scarce believing,
  Pains of that Illustrious One!
Who the man, who, called a brother,
Would not weep, saw he Christ’s mother
  In such deep distress and wild?        15
Who could not sad tribute render
Witnessing that mother tender
  Agonizing with her child?
For his people’s sins atoning,
Him she saw in torments groaning,        20
  Given to the scourger’s rod;
Saw her darling offspring dying,
Desolate, forsaken, crying,
  Yield his spirit up to God.
Make me feel thy sorrow’s power,        25
That with thee I tears may shower,
  Tender mother, fount of love!
Make my heart with love unceasing
Burn toward Christ the Lord, that pleasing
  I may be to him above.        30
Holy mother, this be granted,
That the slain one’s wounds be planted
  Firmly in my heart to bide.
Of him wounded, all astounded—
Depths unbounded for me sounded—        35
  All the pangs with me divide.
Make me weep with thee in union;
With the Crucified, communion
  In his grief and suffering give;
Near the cross, with tears unfailing,        40
I would join thee in thy wailing
  Here as long as I shall live.
Maid of maidens, all excelling!
Be not bitter, me repelling;
  Make thou me a mourner too;        45
Make me bear about Christ’s dying,
Share his passion, shame defying;
  All his wounds in me renew.
Wound for wound be there created;
With the cross intoxicated        50
  For thy Son’s dear sake, I pray—
May I, fired with pure affection,
Virgin, have through thee protection
  In the solemn Judgment Day.
Let me by the cross be warded,        55
By the death of Christ be guarded,
  Nourished by divine supplies.
When the body death hath riven,
Grant that to the soul be given
  Glories bright of Paradise.        60

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