Catholic CornucopiadCheney

Antra deserti

Thou, in thy childhood

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Antra deserti, teneris sub annis,
    Civium turmas fugiens, petisti,
    Ne levi posses maculare vitam
       Crimine linguæ.
  2. Præbuit durum tegumen camelus
    Artubus sacris, strophium bidentes;
    Cui latex haustum, sociata pastum
       Mella locustis.
  3. Cæteri tantum cecinere Vatum
    Corde præsago jubar affuturum:
    Tu quidem mundi scelus auferentem
       Indice prodis.
  4. Non fuit vasti spatium per orbis
    Sanctior quisquam genitus Joanne,
    Qui nefas sæcli meruit lavantem
       Tingere lymphis.
  5. Sit decus Patri, genitæque Proli,
    Et tibi compar utriusque virtus,
    Spiritus semper, Deus unus, omni
       Temporis ævo.
  1. Thou, in thy childhood, to the desert caverns
    Fleddest for refuge from the cities’ turmoil,
    Where the world’s slander might not dim thy luster,
       Lonely abiding.
  2. Camel’s hair raiment clothed thy saintly members;
    Leathern the girdle which thy loins encircled;
    Locusts and honey, with the fountain-water,
       Daily sustained thee.
  3. Oft in past ages, seers with hearts expectant
    Sang the far-distant advent of the Day-Star;
    Thine was the glory, as the world’s Redeemer
       First to proclaim Him.
  4. Far as the wide world reacheth, born of woman,
    Holier was there none than John the Baptist;
    Meetly in water laving Him who cleanseth
       Man from pollution.
  5. Praise to the Father, to the Son begotton,
    And to the Spirit, equal power possessing,
    One God whose glory, through the lapse of ages,
       Ever resoundeth.
This is a continuation of the preceding hymn. Translation by M. J. Blacker and G. H. Palmer. Liturgical Use: Matins hymn.
  1. “From thy tenderest years, fleeing the throngs of men, thou didst seek the caves of the desert, lest thou stain thy life by the slightest sin of the tongue.” (Cf. Luke 1, 80.)
  2. “The camel furnished the rough covering for thy sacred members; thy girdle, the sheep provided; the fountain furnished thy drink, and honey together with locusts thy food.” Præbuit, this is the predicate of the whole stanza. Compare this stanza with Matt. 3, 4.
  3. “The rest of the Prophets only foretold with prophetic spirit the Light that was to come: but thou with thy finger didst point out Him who taketh away the sins of the world.” Indice prodis: Ecce agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccatum mundi (John 1, 29).
  4. “Throughout the space of the wide world there was no one born who was more holy than John, who was deemed worthy to baptize with water Him who washeth away the sins of the world.” (Cf. Matt. 11, 11.)