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Jam toto subitus

Now let the darkling eve

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Jam toto subitus vesper eat polo,
    Et sol attonitum præcipitet diem,
    Dum sævæ recolo ludibrium necis,
    Divinamque catastrophen.
  2. Spectatrix aderas supplicio Parens,
    Malis uda, gerens cor adamantinum:
    Natus funerea pendulus in cruce
    Altos dum gemitus dabat.
  3. Pendens ante oculos Natus, atrocibus
    Sectus verberibus, Natus hiantibus
    Fossus vulneribus, quot penetrantibus
    Te confixit aculeis!
  4. Heu! sputa, alapæ, verbera, vulnera,
    Clavi, fel, aloe, spongia, lancea,
    Sitis, spina, cruor, quam varia pium
    Cor pressere tyrannide!
  5. Cunctis interea stat generosior
    Virgo Martyribus: prodigio novo,
    In tantis moriens non moreris Parens,
    Diris fixa doloribus.
  6. Sit summæ Triadi gloria, laus, honor,
    A qua suppliciter, sollicita prece,
    Posco virginei roboris æmulas
    Vires rebus in asperis.
  1. Now let the darkling eve
    Mount suddenly on high,
    The sun affrighted reave
    His splendors from the sky,
    While I in silence grieve
    O’er the mocked agony
    And the divine catastrophe.
  2. Grief-drenched, thou dost appear
    With heart of adamant,
    O Mother; and dost hear
    The Great Hierophant,
    Upon His wooden bier
    Locked in the arms of Death,
    Utter in groans His parting breath.
  3. What lookest thou upon,
    Mangled and bruised and torn?
    Ah, ‘tis the very Son
    Thy yearning breast hath borne!
    Surely, each breaking moan
    And each deep-mouthed wound
    Its fellow in thy heart hath found!
  4. Surely, the taunts and woes,
    The scourge, the dripping thorn,
    The spitting and the blows,
    The gall, the lance, the scorn—
    Surely, each torment throws
    A poison-dart at thee,
    Crushed by their manifold tyranny.
  5. Yet thou with patient mien
    Beneath His Cross dost stand,
    Nobler in this, I ween,
    Than all the martyr-band:
    A thousand deaths, O Queen,
    Upon thy spirit lie,
    Yet thou, O marvel! dost not die.
  6. O Holy Trinity,
    Let earth and heaven raise
    Their song of laud to Thee
    The while my spirit prays:—
    When evil comes to me,
    The strength do Thou impart
    That erst upheld Thy Mother’s heart!
Author: Ascribed to Callisto Palumbella, 18th cent. Meter: Asclepiadic and Glyconic. Translation by Monsignor Henry. There are six translations. Liturgical Use: Vespers hymn. This hymn was formerly assigned to Matins. There are two Feasts in honor of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin. See Hymn 54. The Seven Sorrows which these Feasts commemorate are: 1. The prophecy of holy Simeon at the presentation in the Temple—“And thy own soul a sword shall pierce.” 2. The flight into Egypt. 3. The loss of the Child Jesus in Jerusalem. 4. The meeting of Mary and Jesus on the way to Calvary. 5. The Crucifixion. 6. The taking down from the Cross. 7. The burial of Jesus. See the article in the Cath. Encycl. on Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  1. “Now let the evening come suddenly upon the whole heavens, and let the sun dispatch the astonished day, while I recount the spectacle of the cruel death and the divine tragedy.”
  2. “Drenched with grief, thou, O Mother, wast present at the Crucifixion, bearing in thy bosom a heart of adamant, while thy Son hanging on the fatal Cross uttered deep groans.” Udus, wet, moist, tearful.
  3. “Before thy very eyes hung thy Son lacerated with cruel scourgings, thy Son wounded with gaping wounds; with how many sharp, penetrating points did this transfix thee!”
  4. “Alas! spittle, blows, stripes, wounds, nails, gall, aloes, sponge, lance, thirst, thorns, blood,—with what manifold tyranny do they oppress thy loving heart!”
  5. “The Virgin the while stands there more noble than the martyrs: by a new wonder, O Mother, dying, thou dost not die, though transfixed by such great and dreadful sorrows.”
  6. “To the sovereign Trinity be glory, praise; and honor, from whom I suppliantly and with fervent prayer beg strength like the Virgin’s in time of trouble.”