Verbum bonum et suave

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Text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

1  Verbum bonum et suave
personemus illud ave
per quod Christi fit conclave
Virgo mater filia.

2  Per quod ave salutata
mox concepit fecundata
Virgo David stirpe nata
inter spinas lilia.

3  Ave veri[templum] Salomonis
ave [mater,] vellus Gedeonis
cuius magi tribus donis
laudant puerperium.

4  Ave solem genuisti
ave prolem protulisti
mundo lapso contulisti
vitam et imperium

5  Ave mater verbi summi
maris portus signum dumi
aromatum virga fumi
angelorum domina

6  Supplicamus nos emenda
emendatos nos commenda
tuo natu ad habenda
sempiterna gaudia.

English.png English translation

1  A word good and sweet
we resound that ‘hail’,
through which the virgin mother daughter
became the dwelling-place of Christ.

2  Greeted by this ‘hail’
and impregnated, the Virgin soon conceived,
the Virgin born of David’s race,
a lily among thorns.

3  Hail true[temple of] Solomon, [of Solomon’s truth
the mother,] hail fleece of Gideon,
of whom the magi with three gifts
praise the act of childbearing.

4  Hail, you have given birth to the sun,
hail, you have produced the child,
to the fallen world you have given
life and order.

5  Hail, mother of the highest Word,
safe harbor, sign of the bush,
pillar of aromatic smoke,
ruler of angels.

6  We supplicate you, remove our faults,
and made faultless commend us
to your son, to have
everlasting joys.
tr. by Edward Tambling and John Kelly

Note: Verses 3-5 include Old Testament phenomena held to prefigure the Virgin Birth: Gideon's fleece, the burning bush through which God spoke to Moses, the pillar of smoke that guided the Israelites out of Egypt. All are examples of God acting on a material rather than spiritual level.

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