The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Jam desinant suspiria

Hymn for Matins of Christmas Day

Words: Charles Coffin (1676-1749), the Paris Breviary, 1736

English Translations: See Below

Source: Carolo (Charles) Coffin, Hymni Sacri (Paris: Usuum Parisiensium, 1736), pp. 36-38.

    Jam desinant suspiria; 
Audivit ex alto Deus: 
Cœli patescunt; en adest 
Pxomissa pax mortalibus.

    Profunda noctis otia 
Cœlestis abrumpit chorus
Natumque festo carmine 
Annuntiat terris Deum.

    Specum sacratam pervigil 
Dum turba pastorum subit, 
Eamus, & castis pia 
Cunis feramus oscula.

    At quale nobis panditur 
Intrantibus spectaculum! 
Pręsepe , fœnum, fascię, 
Parens inops, infans puer.

    Tu-ne ille, Christe, filius 
Et splendor ęterni Patris?
Illum-ne cerno qui levi 
Orbem pugillo sustinet?

    Sic est : verenda queis lates 
Fides penetrat nubila: 
Agnosco quem proni vident, 
Tremunt, adorant Angeli.

    Agis magistrum vel tacens: 
Ex hac cathedra nos doces 
Vitare quod carni placet, 
Caro quod horret perpeti.

    Castos amores nutriens, 
Sanans tumentes spiritus, 
Divine, nostris, ō Puer, 
Pręcordiis innascere.

    Qui natus es de Virgine, 
Jesu, tibi sit gloria 
Cum Patre ,cumque Spiritu 
In sempiterna secula. Amen.

Note from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology. Second Revised Edition with New Supplement. (1892, 1907), pp. 576-577.

Jam desinant suspiria. C. Coffin. [Christmas.] The hymn for Matins of Christmas Day in the Paris Breviary, 1736; and again in his Hymni Sacri, 1736, p. 36. It is also in the Lyons and other French Breviaries, J. Chandler's Hymns of the Primitive Church, 1837, No. 41, and Cardinal Newman's Hymni Ecclesiae, 1838 and 1865. [W. A. S.]

Translations in C. U. :—

1. Cease, Weary Mortals, Cease to Sigh. By John Chandler in his Hymns of the Primitive Church, 837, p. 44, This was repeated in Johnston's English Hymnal, 1852, and again, with alterations, in 1856 and 1861.

2. Away With Sorrow's Sigh. By Isaac Williams, in his Hymns Translated from the Parisian Breviary, 1839, p. 53. This is given in Lord Selborne's Book of Praise, 1862.

3. God From On High Hath Heard. By Bishop J. R. Woodford. Written about 1850, and 1st published in his Hymns Arranged for Sundays, &c, 1852 and 1855. It is found in numerous hymn-books, and in various forms, the principal of which are :—

(1) The original translation in Chope's Hymnal, 1864.

(2) The text in S.M. as in Hymns, Ancient & Modern. This was given in the trial copy of Hymns, Ancient & Modern, 1859, and in the editions of 1861 and 1875. It is also in many other collections. It is an altered version of Bp. Woodford's translation, was made without his knowledge, and was never accepted by him. [E. MSS.]

(3) The Parish Hymn Book, 1863 and 1875. This text is thus composed: stanzas i.-v. and viii. are from Bp. Woodford's translation ; and stanzas vi., vii. are by the Rev. Q. Phillimore. [E. HSS.].

(4) The Sarum Hymnal text, 1868, No. 40. This is Bp. Woodford's revised and authorized text. [E. MSS.]. It is given, slightly altered, in the Hymnary, 1872.

(5) The S. P. C. K. Church Hymns, 1871. This text is thus composed: stanzas i.-iii., Bp. Woodford's original translation; stanzas iv., v. the same but slightly altered; stanza vi., from Bp. Woodford's revised text in the Sarum, 1868; stanzas vii., viii., by G. Phillimore, as in the Parish Hymn Book. It should be noted in connection with this translation that the beautiful lines in the Sarum text,
        "Adoring tremble still,
        And trembling still adore,"
are from I. Williams's translation, 1839, where they are given as one line.

4. Now Suspend The Wistful Sigh. By Gilbert Rorison, in his Hymns & Anthems, 1851, No. 23, and the 1862 Appendix to the Hymnal Noted, No. 125.

5. Clear through the silent night. This translation in T. Darling's Hymns for the Church of England, 1887, is a slightly altered form of the Hymns, Ancient & Modern text beginning with stanza ii.

6. Calmed be our griefs, hushed every sigh. By J. D. Chambers in his Lauda Syon, 1857. This was repeated in the Hymnal for the Use of St John the Evangelist, Aberdeen, 1870.

7. Hark! On The Midnight Air. In Skinner's Daily Service Hymnal, 1864; and the Altar Hymnal, 1884. This text is as follows: stanzas i.-iv. by Bp. Woodford in the Parish Hymn Book as above; stanza v. from G. Phillimore's addition to the same, altered; and the rest by A. H. Ward.

8. Now let mournful sighing cease. By R.F. Littledale in the People's Hymnal, 1867, and signed "A. L. P." [which stands for "A London Priest." Ed.]

Translations not in C. U.:—

1. Ye People, Cease From Tears. R. Campbell. 1850.

2. Let Sighing Cease And Woe. W. J. Blew. 1852.
and Let Sighing Cease And Woe - Version 2

3. Now Signs of Mourning Disappear. Lord Braye. In O. Shipley's Annus Sanctus, 1884. [J. J.]

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