Friday, August 24, 2007

From Bernard of Clairvaux

Someone else had a reference on their blog to Bernard, so I thought I'd add this hymn. Is it just the old-fashioned translation, or do these older songs and poems just seem more intense than much of what we get today?


O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
How pale Thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish, which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

4 comments:

Cami said...

Well, the language is just incredible, which is why I mainly just read old English classics for my own enjoyment. But then there was the culture; much more widespread exposure to death and physical suffering, which I believe brought people a better understanding of the temporal vs. eternal. It was definitely more intense this way. As I told my daughter yesterday, I have to find God in her culture since I can't drag her back to mine, or to my grandfather's--but I want to model for her what I've experienced...I think that passing down these things, inspired writings and experiences of "old," is important.

I.I. said...

There is a balance of not getting "stuck" in the past or ignoring current culture, and the other side of course is to only focus on the "new things" God is doing, assuming we can't learn from that "great cloud of witnesses" of souls who have gone before.

Maxine said...

For some reason, when it's old, it just seems to be deeper. I can't tell you how much I love this hymn.

I.I. said...

"when it's old, it just seems to be deeper."

I know at some point in my head that that's not always true, but the season I'm in now is all abot digging through those who've walked this path before me.