April 5, 2007

Adoro te devote

Is there any better hymn to sing at Holy Thursday Divine Service? I was pleased they included this hymn in LSB, but wish that they had used the translation by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.

On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.

O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.

Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what thy bosom ran---
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.

Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with thy glory's sight. Amen.


Peperkorn said...

What a great translation! It's been years since I read it in that verse. Thank you.

Christopher Esget said...

You're welcome! It's challenging to sing, but somehow our congregation manages it, getting better each year.

I think my favorite line is, "Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true." That's the Marburg Colloquy in one line!

Kristina said...

I love this hymn. GMH is a wonderful poet, and the tune fits his sort of verse so well, it seems made for him. I think if Thomas Aquinas (the author) had ever learned English, he would have been pleased.

Christopher Esget said...

The choir is going to sing it again on 4/29 - I can't wait!