Say, What Strange Love Works Thee This Sad Unrest

This hymn was used for Lauds on the Feast of the Five Wounds of Christ (the Friday following Ash Wednesday) in the Paris Breviary (1736).

This is the original text of this hymn as it appears in Hymns Translated from the Parisian Breviary (1839):

Say, what strange love works Thee this sad unrest,
Drives Thee, the only innocent, to die
For a poor guilty nation so unblest,
That Thou, who art the good and great High- Priest,
Shouldst like a cord-bound victim, helpless lie?

The nails, which rend Thy bleeding feet in twain,
Have the enthralling nets of Satan broke,
And let Thy people go: Thy hands, which stain,
Drop after drop, that murderous bed of pain,
From off the captive world have shook the yoke.

That piercing lance hath open’d pardon’s door—
Door of that heart which never knew deceit,
Whence blood and water flow, an endless store,
Which heals, sets free, and cleanses evermore:
O wound, that went to Pity’s inmost seat!

O fountains of true life! O streams divine!
O hallowed thresholds of that pitying breast!
Shrines of that sacred heart, O sheltering mine
Op’d in the smitten rock, where we, that pine
O’ercome with sinful shame, may hide and rest.

Again that Cross we plead, to Him we fly—
O Father, when our crimes provoke Thee, when
Thy thunder is against us lifted high,
Look on His bleeding wounds, and pass us by,
And for His sake spare Thou us once again.

‘Mid wounds alone and crosses here we know
That we can enter into Thy dear love,
And have our joy in the Eternal now;
Thee with the Son and Spirit praise below,
Thee with the Son and Spirit praise above.

Words: Claude de Santeul, 1680; tr. Isaac R. Williams, 1839.
Tune: TBD.
Meter: 10.10.10.10.10

The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.

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 Breviaries, Claude de Santeul, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, God the Son, Hymns By The Greats, Isaac Williams, Jesus Christ Our Lord, Lent, Liturgical Seasons, Liturgies of the Latin Church, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Paris Breviary, The Church Year, The Godhead, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church, The Passion, The Wounds of Christ, Tune to Be Determined and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Say, What Strange Love Works Thee This Sad Unrest

  1. Pingback: Quæ Te Pro Populi Criminibus Nova | Saint Augustine's Lyre

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