Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > Hymns of the Christian Church
   Hymns of the Christian Church.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Latin Hymns
Stabat Mater
Jacobus de Benedictis. Tr. D. F. Maccarthy (13th–14th Century)
BY the cross, on which suspended,
With his bleeding hands extended,
  Hung that Son she so adored,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
She whose heart, its silence keeping,        5
  Grief had cleft as with a sword.
Oh, that Mother’s sad affliction—
Mother of all benediction—
  Of the sole-begotten One;
Oh, the grieving, sense-bereaving,        10
Of her heaving breast, perceiving
  The dread sufferings of her Son.
What man is there so unfeeling,
Who, his heart to pity steeling,
  Could behold that sight unmoved?        15
Could Christ’s Mother see there weeping,
See the pious Mother keeping
  Vigil by the Son she loved?
For his people’s sins atoning,
She saw Jesus writhing, groaning,        20
  ’Neath the scourge wherewith he bled;
Saw her loved one, her consoler,
Dying in his dreadful dolour,
  Till at length his spirit fled.
O thou Mother of election,        25
Fountain of all pure affection,
  Make thy grief, thy pain, my own;
Make my heart to God returning,
In the love of Jesus burning,
  Feel the fire that thine has known.        30
Blessed Mother of prediction,
Stamp the marks of crucifixion
  Deeply on my stony heart,
Ever leading where thy bleeding
Son is pleading for my needing,        35
  Let me in his wounds take part.
Make me truly, each day newly
While life lasts, O Mother, duly
  Weep with him, the Crucified.
Let me, ’tis my sole demanding,        40
Near the cross, where thou art standing,
  Stand in sorrow at thy side.
Queen of virgins, best and dearest,
Grant, oh, grant the prayer thou hearest,
  Let me ever mourn with thee;        45
Let compassion me so fashion
That Christ’s wounds, his death and passion,
  Be each day renewed in me.
Oh, those wounds do not deny me;
On that cross, oh, crucify me;        50
  Let me drink his blood I pray:
Then on fire, enkindled, daring,
I may stand without despairing
  On that dreadful judgment-day.
May that cross be my salvation;        55
Make Christ’s death my preservation;
  May his grace my heart make wise;
And when death my body taketh,
May my soul when it awaketh
  Ope in heaven its raptured eyes.        60


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