The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Heu! quid jaces stabulo

For Christmas

Words: Jean Mauburn (1460-1502), from Rosetum exercitiorum spiritualium et sacrarum meditationum, 1494
These are verses 4, 5, & 6 of Eia mea anima

Music: "Mauburn," Thomas Tertius Noble, 1918
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML

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,
    Omnium Creator,
Vagiens cunabulo,
    Mundi reparator?
Si rex, ubi purpura,
    Vel clientum murmura,
    Ubi aula regis?
Hic omnix penuria,
Paupertatis curia,
    Forma novæ legis.

2. Istuc amor generis
    Me traxit humani,
Quod se noxâ sceleris
    Occidit profani.
His meis inopiis,
Gratiarum copiis
    Te pergo ditare:
Hocce natalitio
Vero sacrificio,
    Te volens beare.

3. O te laudum millibus
    Laudo, laudo, laudo;
Tantis mirabilibus
    Plaudo, plaudo, plaudo:
Gloria — sit gloria,
Amanti memoria
    Domino in altis:
Cui testimonia
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 Poetry."
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, 1868, 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.

Editor's Note:

The first verses of these and some additional translations include:

Dost Thou in a manger lie,
    Who hast all created,
Stretching infant hands on high,
    Savior, long awaited?
If a monarch, where Thy state?
Where Thy court on Thee to wait?
    Royal purple where?
Here no regal pomp we see;
Naught but need and penury;
    Why thus cradled here?

Ah! Lord God, the world's Creator,
    King of all,
Great or small,
    Earth Regenerator:
Art thou cradled, art thou crying,
    Swath'd and bound,
On the Ground,
    In a stable lying?

Swath'd, and feebly wailing.
    Wherefore art Thou laid.
All Thy glory veiling
    In the manger's shade ?
King, and yet no royal
    Purple decks Thy breast ;
Courtiers mute and loyal
    Bend not o'er Thy rest !

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
    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?

Ah! that in the stable lies
    Author of creation,
That in swathing bands He cries,
    Earth's whole restoration;
Where's His purple if He's king,
    Where the gifts His clients bring,
Where His throne-room royal?
    Every kind of penury
Sovereign sway of poverty,
    Law most new and loyal.

An "imitation" of this carol was written by Rev. John Mason Neale: Young And Old Must Raise The Lay-1855.

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