The Voice That Breathed O’er Eden

The voice that breathed o’er Eden,
That earliest wedding day,
The primal wedding blessing,
It hath not passed away.

Still in the pure espousal
Of Christian man and maid
The Holy Three are with us,
The threefold grace is said.

For dower of blessèd children,
For love and faith’s sweet sake,
For high mysterious union
Which naught on earth may break.

Be present, awful Father,
To give away this bride
As Thou gav’st Eve to Adam,
A helpmate at his side.

Be present, Son of Mary,
To join their loving hands
As Thou didst bind two natures
In Thine eternal bands.

Be present, Holy Spirit,
To bless them as they kneel,
As Thou for Christ, the Bridegroom,
The heav’nly Spouse dost seal.

O spread Thy pure wing o’er them,
Let no ill power find place
When onward to Thine altar
Their hallowed path they trace.

To cast their crowns before Thee
In perfect sacrifice,
Till to the home of gladness
With Christ’s own Bride they rise!

To Father, Son, and Spirit,
Eternal One and Three,
And was and is forever,
All praise and glory be.

Words: John Keble, 1857.
Tune:St. Alphege” Henry J. Gauntlett, 1852.

This is the text as it appears in  Hymns Ancient and Modern (1867):

The Voice that breathed o’er Eden,
That earliest wedding day,
The primal marriage blessing,
It hath not passed away:—

Still in the pure espousal
Of Christian man and maid
The Holy Three are with us,
The threefold grace is said.

For dower of blessèd children,
For love and faith’s sweet sake,
For high mysterious union,
Which nought on earth may break.

Be present, awful Father,
To give away this bride,
As Eve Thou gav’st to Adam
Out of his own pierced side;

Be present, Son of Mary,
To join their loving hands,
As Thou didst bind two Natures
In Thine eternal Bands;

Be present, Holiest Spirit,
To bless them as they kneel,
As Thou for Christ, the Bridegroom,
The heavenly Spouse dost seal.

O spread Thy pure Wing o’er them,
Let no ill power find place,
When onward to Thine Altar
The hallowed path they trace,

To cast their crowns before Thee
In perfect sacrifice,
Till to the home of gladness
With Christ’s Own Bride they rise. Amen.

Hymns Ancient and Modern (1867) provides Lord Lyttelton’s 1866 Latin translation of this hymn in the margin:

Ille Edenæas Qui Patrio Deus
Afflavit olim Numine nuptias,
Primusque consecrata certis
Vincula fœderibus beavit,

Idem proborum, credite, coniugum
Castis secundus spirat amoribus:
Trinum Creatorem fatetur
Tergemino pia lingua voto.

Faustos amores, continuam fidem,
Proles amœno pignore nutriat:
Sit copula arcanæque pacta,
Non homini temeranda, vitæ:

Sic Vos precamur. Tu, Genitor, viro
Dignare puram tradere virginem,
Se qualis Adamo maritam
Eva sacra dedit orta costa.

Adsit Mariæ Filius Unicus,
Nectatque amantes coniugie manus,
Qui bina Naturæ coegit
Perpetuis elementa Vinclis.

Adsis, et ipsis Spiritus Optime,
Da provolutis dona perennia,
Quo præstat adsignante firmam
Sponsa fidem sacrosancta Christo.

Alma tuetor, Magne, periculis
Ala remotis, dum subeunt Tuum
Altare templorumque Limen,
Inque piam ingrediuntur Ædem:

Tibi absolutam si licet hostiam,
Tibi receptas reddere laureas,
Donec beatorum choreas
Sponsa adeant comitante Christi. Amen.

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About Noah

musings of a young Catholic aspiring to be faithful to his Lord and God Jesus Christ through His Holy Catholic Church
This entry was posted in Holy Matrimony, Hymns By The Greats, John Keble, Latin Hymns, The Sacraments, Translations of English Hymns to Other Languages and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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