Heu! quid jaces stabulo
Words: Jean Mauburn (1460-1502), from
Rosetum exercitiorum spiritualium et
sacrarum meditationum, 1494
These are verses 4, 5, & 6 of Eia mea anima
Source: J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #55, pp. 86-7
1. Heu! quid jaces stabulo,
Si rex, ubi purpura,
Vel clientum murmura,
Ubi aula regis?
Hic omnix penuria,
Forma novæ legis.
2. Istuc amor generis
Me traxit humani,
Quod se noxâ sceleris
His meis inopiis,
Te pergo ditare:
Te volens beare.
3. O te laudum millibus
Laudo, laudo, laudo;
Plaudo, plaudo, plaudo:
Gloria — sit gloria,
Domino in altis:
Dantur et præconia
Cœlicis à psaltis.
Sheet Music by G. M. Garrett from J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #55, pp. 86-7.
Words: "Trench's Sacred Latin
Translation: "Slightly altered from E. Charles.
From 'The Hymnary.'"
Note from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II, and New Supplement (1907), alt.
Eia mea anima, Bethlehem eamus. J. Mauburn. [Christmas.] In his Rosetum exercitiorum spiritualium et sacrarum meditationum, N. P. 1494 [Brit. Mus.], this is found at folio 104 b, as a Rosary on the Birth of Christ, in 13 stanzas of 10 lines. The full text is also in Wackernagel, i. No. 402, and in Dreves, xlviii., p. 515.
Three stanzas, beginning with stanza iv., "Heu quid jaces stabulo," passed into many of the older German hymn-books, and are found as a separate hymn in Rambach, i., p. 371; Daniel, i., No. 481; and Trench, 1864, p. 114. These stanzas have also been translated from the Latin into English, as "Dost Thou In A Manger Lie," by Mrs. Charles, 1858, p. 174. Also in the Hymnary, 1872. Another translation of "Heu quid jaces" is "Ah! Lord God, The World's Creator," by G. R. Woodward in his Songs of Syon, 1904.
Some additional translations include:
Swathed and Feebly Wailing, Translation by Rev. Dr. Kynaston, from his "Occasional Hymns."
Why Dost Thou So Lowly Lie, from N. B. Smithers, ed., Translations of Latin Hymns of the Middle Ages (Dover, Delaware: J. Kirk & Sons, 1879), a translation of Heu, quic jaces stabulo. by Dr. Francis Andrew Marsh of Lafayette College, the author of “Latin Hymns With English Notes. Vol. 1” (Harper & Brothers, 1896), pp. 123 et seq. It begins:
Why dost Thou so lowly lie
Who all things didst create?
Comest Thou with wailing cry
To lift our fallen state?
Where thy train if King thou be,
Purple robe of majesty,
Thy presence chamber, where?
Ah! How Humble Is Thy Birth, from Daniel Joseph Donahoe, ed., Early Christian Hymns: Series II. Translations of the Verses of the Most Noted Latin Writers of the Early and Middle Ages (Donahoe Publishing Company, 1911), p. 171. It begins:
Ah! how humble is thy birth
In the lowly manger,
Thou the Lord of heaven and earth,
Weeping as a stranger;
If a King indeed art thou,
Where is all thy glory now?
Pending is a version from Richard R. Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols, "Now my soul to Bethlehem," from a five-verse excerpt that partially includes the above.
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