O Sovereign Lord of Nature's Might
Attributed to Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). This hymn continues with the theme of Creation present in the Vespers Hymns for the week. Here the work of the fifth day of creation (Thursday) chronicles the creation of the birds and fishes from the waters (Gen 1, 20-23). This hymn is traditionally sung at Thursday Vespers and is used in the Liturgia Horarum at Vespers for Thursday of the first and third weeks of the Psalter during Ordinary Time. Likewise the hymn is also found in the Roman Breviary for Thursday Vespers.
| MAGNAE Deus potentiae,
qui ex aquis ortum genus1
partim remittis2 gurgiti,
partim levas in aera.
| O SOVEREIGN LORD
of Nature's might,
Who bad'st the water's birth divide;
part in the heavens to take their flight,
and part in ocean's deep to hide;
| Demersa lymphis imprimens,
subvecta caelis irrogans,3
ut, stirpe una prodita,4
diversa repleant loca:
| These low obscured, on airy wing
exalted those, that either race,
though from one element they spring,
might serve Thee in a different place.
| Largire cunctis servulis,
quos mundat unda sanguinis,
nescire lapsus criminum,
nec ferre mortis taedium.
| Grant, Lord, that we Thy servants all,
saved by Thy tide of cleansing Blood,
no more 'neath sin's dominion fall,
nor fear the thought of death's dark flood!
| Ut culpa nullum deprimat,
nullum levet5 iactantia,
elisa mens ne concidat,
elata mens ne corruat.
| Thy varied love each spirit bless,
the humble cheer, the high control;
check in each heart its proud excess,
but raise the meek and contrite soul!
| Praesta, Pater piissime,
Patrique compar Unice,
cum Spiritu Paraclito
regnans per omne saeculum. Amen.
| This boon, O Father, we entreat,
this blessing grant, Eternal Son,
and Holy Ghost, the Paraclete,
both now, and while the ages run. Amen.
From the Liturgia Horarum. Translation by Rev. William John Courthope (1804-1885).
Changes made by Pope Urban VIII in 1632 to the Roman Breviary:
1 qui fertili natos aqua.
4 ut, stirpe ab una prodita