The seven great hymns of the mediaeval church/Stabat Mater and Mater Speciosa/Stabat Mater, Lindsay

For other English-language translations of this work, see Stabat Mater Dolorosa.




BY the Cross, sad vigil keeping,
Stood the mournful mother weeping,
While on it the Saviour hung;
In that hour of deep distress,
Pierced the sword of bitterness
Through her heart with sorrow wrung.


Oh! how fad, how woe-begone
Was that ever-blessed one,
Mother of the Son of God!
Oh! what bitter tears she shed
Whilst before her Jesus bled
'Neath the Father's penal rod!


Who's the man could view unmoved
Christ's sweet mother, whom He loved,
In such dire extremity?
Who his pitying tears withhold,
Christ's sweet mother to behold
Sharing in His agony?


For the Father's broken law,
Mary thus the Saviour saw
Sport of human cruelties—
Saw her fweet, her only Son,
God-forsaken and undone,
Die a sinless sacrifice!


Mary mother, fount of love,
Make me share thy sorrow, move
All my foul to sympathy!
Make my heart within me glow
With the love of Jesusso
Shall I find acceptancy.


Print, O Mother, on my heart,
Deeply print the wounds, the smart
Of my Saviour's chastisement;
He who, to redeem my loss,
Deigned to bleed upon the cross—
Make me share His punishment.


Ever with thee, at thy side,
'Neath the Christ, the Crucified,
Mournful mother, let me be!
By the Crofs fad vigil keeping,
Ever watchful, ever weeping,
Thy companion constantly!


Maid of maidens, undefiled,
Mother gracious, mother mild,
Melt my heart to weep with thee!
Crown me with Christ's thorny wreath,
Make me confort of His death,
Sharer of His victory.


Never from the mingled tide
Flowing still from Jesus' side,
May my lips inebriate turn;
And when in the day of doom,
Lightning-like He rends the tomb,
Shield, oh shield me, left I burn!


So the shadow of the tree
Where thy Jesus bled for me
Still shall be my fortalice;
So when flesh and spirit fever
Shall I live, thy boon, for ever
In the joys of Paradise!