08 December, 2005

Te dícimus præcónio

Today being the feast of the Immaculate Conception, I present the following translation of a hymn for the Office of Readings. As the descendants of Adam, we are infected by his original sin; we ask Mary to blunt the attacks of the serpent whose temptation disgraced Eve — a disgrace that Mary, by her obedience, helped to undo.

Quick note: the Latin intaminatus, which I translate as unstained, is an antonym of sorts to contaminatus, from which we obtain the word contaminated. In other words, Mary's condition is the opposite of contamination by original sin.

Te dícimus præcónio,
mater Dei puríssima;
nostris benígna láudibus
tuam repénde grátiam.
Purest mother of God,
we speak of you with acclaim;
generous woman, balance our praise
with your grace.
Sontes Adámi pósteri,
infécta proles gígnimur;
labis patérnæ néscia
tu sola, Virgo, créderis.
As guilty descendants of Adam,
we beget infected offspring;
only you, O Virgin, are to be trusted,
who did not know the stain of our father.
Caput dracónis ínvidi
tu cónteris vestígio,
gerísque sola glóriam
intaminátæ oríginis.
You ground with your foot
the envious dragon's head,
and you alone bear the glory
of an unstained origin.
Nostræ decus propáginis,
quæ tollis Evæ oppróbrium,
tu nos tuére súpplices,
tu nos labántes érige.
O distinguished member of our race
who removes Eve's disgrace:
watch over us who call to you,
encourage us who are stained by sin.
Serpéntis antíqui potens
astus retúnde et ímpetus,
ut cælitum perénnibus
per te fruámur gáudiis.
Blunt the ancient serpent's power
of cunning attack,
so that through you we may enjoy
heaven with its eternal joys.
Patri sit et Paráclito
tuóque Nato glória,
qui sanctitátis únicæ
te munerárunt grátia. Amen.
Glory to the Father, the Paraclete,
and to the one Born from you,
who grantedto you
the grace of unique holiness. Amen.

No comments: