Pange lingua…proelium

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Hymn for the Invention of the Cross by Fortunatus, not to be confused with Pange lingua…Corporis.

Text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Pange, lingua, gloriosi
proelium certaminis
et super crucis trophaeo
dic triumphum nobilem,
qualiter redemptor orbis
immolatus vicerit.

De parentis protoplasti
fraude factor condolens,
quando pomi noxialis
morte morsu corruit,
ipse lignum tunc notavit,
damna ligni ut solveret.

Hoc opus nostrae salutis
ordo depoposcerat,
multiformis perditoris
arte ut artem falleret
et medelam ferret inde,
hostis unde laeserat.

Quando venit ergo sacri
plenitudo temporis,
missus est ab arce patris
natus orbis conditor
atque ventre virginali
carne factus prodiit.

Vagit infans inter arta
conditus praesaepia,
membra pannis involuta
virgo mater adligat,
et pedes manusque crura
stricta pingit fascia.

Lustra sex qui iam peracta
tempus implens corporis,
se volente, natus ad hoc,
passioni deditus,
agnus in crucis levatur
immolandus stipite.

Hic acetum, fel, arundo,
sputa, clavi, lancea;
mite corpus perforatur;
sanguis, unda profluit,
terra pontus astra mundus
quo lavantur flumine.

Crux fidelis, inter omnes
arbor una nobilis,
nulla talem silva profert
flore, fronde, germine,
dulce lignum dulce clavo
dulce pondus sustinens.

Flecte ramos, arbor alta,
tensa laxa viscera,
et rigor lentescat ille
quem dedit nativitas,
ut superni membra regis
mite tendas stipite.

Sola digna tu fuisti
ferre pretium saeculi
atque portum praeparare
nauta mundo naufrago,
quem sacer cruor perunxit
fusus agni corpore.

English.png English translation

Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle
Sing the last, the dread affray;
O'er the Cross, the victor's trophy,
Sound the high triumphal lay:
Tell how Christ, the world's Redeemer,
As a victim won the day.

God, His Maker, sorely grieving
That the first-made Adam fell,
When he ate the fruit of sorrow,
Whose reward was death and hell,
Noted then this Wood, the ruin
Of the ancient wood to quell.

For the work of our salvation
Needs would have his order so,
And the multiform deceiver's
Art by art would overthrow,
And from thence would bring the med'cine
Whence the insult of the foe.

Wherefore, when the sacred fulness
Of the appointed time was come,
This world's Maker left His Father,
Sent the heav'nly mansion from,
And proceeded, God Incarnate,
Of the Virgin's holy womb.

Weeps the Infant in the manger
That in Bethlehem's stable stands;
And His limbs the Virgin Mother
Doth compose in swaddling bands,
Meetly thus in linen folding
Of her God the feet and hands.

Thirty years among us dwelling,
His appointed time fulfilled,
Born for this, He meets His Passion,
For that this He freely willed:
On the Cross the Lamb is lifted,
Where His life-blood shall be spilled.

He endured the nails, the spitting,
Vinegar, and spear, and reed;
From that holy Body broken
Blood and water forth proceed:
Earth, and stars, and sky, and ocean,
By that flood from stain are free.

Faithful Cross! above all other,
One and only noble Tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
None in fruit thy peer may be;
Sweetest Wood and sweetest Iron!
Sweetest Weight is hung on thee.

Bend thy boughs, O Tree of glory!
Thy relaxing sinews bend;
For awhile the ancient rigor,
That thy birth bestowed, suspend;
And the King of heavenly beauty
On thy bosom gently tend!

Thou alone wast counted worthy
This world's ransom to uphold;
For a shipwrecked race preparing
Harbour, like the Ark of old;
With the sacred Blood anointed
From the smitten lamb that rolled.

To the Trinity be glory
Everlasting, as is meet;
Equal to the Father, equal
To the Son, and Paraclete:
Trinal Unity, whose praises
All created things repeat.

(John Mason Neale)