From Lands That See the Sun Arise
Written by Coelius Sedulius (d c 450) in iambic dimeter. This hymn, which is used for Lauds during the Christmas season, is the first seven verses of a much longer alphabetic hymn. Four other verses form a second hymn, Hostis Herodes impie which is used for Epiphany.
| A SOLIS ortus cardine
adusque terrae limitem
Christum canamus Principem,
natum Maria Virgine.
| FROM lands that see the sun arise,
to earth's remotest boundaries,
the Virgin-born today we sing,
the Son of Mary, Christ the King.
| Beatus auctor saeculi
servile corpus induit,
ut carne carnem liberans
non perderet quod condidit.
| Blest Author of this earthly frame,
to take a servant's form he came,
that liberating flesh by flesh,
whom he had made might live afresh.
| Clausae1 parentis viscera
caelestis intrat gratia;
venter puellae baiulat
secreta quae non noverat.
| In that chaste parent's holy womb,
celestial grace hath found its home:
and she, as earthly bride unknown,
yet call that Offspring blest her own.
| Domus pudici pectoris
templum repente fit Dei;
intacta nesciens virum
verbo concepit Filium2.
| The mansion of the modest breast
becomes a shrine where God shall rest:
the pure and undefiled one
conceived in her womb the Son.
| Enixa3 est puerpera
quem Gabriel praedixerat,
quem matris alvo gestiens
clausus Ioannes senserat.4
| That Son, that royal Son she bore,
whom Gabriel's voice had told afore:
whom, in his Mother yet concealed,
the Infant Baptist had revealed.
| Feno iacere pertulit,
praesepe non abhorruit,
parvoque lacte pastus est5
per quem nec ales esurit.
| The manger and the straw he bore,
the cradle did he not abhor:
a little milk his infant fare
who feedeth even each fowl of air.
| Gaudet chorus caelestium
et Angeli canunt Deum,
palamque fit pastoribus
Pastor, Creator omnium.
| The heavenly chorus filled the sky,
the Angels sang to God on high,
what time to shepherds watching lone
they made creation's Shepherd known.
| Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
qui natus es de Virgine,
cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
in sempiterna saecula. Amen.
| All honor, laud, and glory be,
O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee;
all glory, as is ever meet,
to the Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
Latin from the Liturgia Horarum. Translation by J. M. Neale (1818-1866).
Changes made by Pope Urban VIII in 1632 to the Roman Breviary:
2 Concepit alvo Filium.
4 Quem ventre Matris gestiens,/baptismata clausum senserat..
5 Et lacte modico pastus est.