A Carol and a Poem

Adeste Fideles (O
Come All Ye Faithful) is a favorite carol.  It was the first carol we
learned in Latin.  A few years later I discovered Athanasius, who
fought valiantly for the deity of Christ.  Every time we sing
“Ver—–ry God, Begotten, not created” I get choked up and say a
prayer of thanks for Athanasius, God’s gift to the early church. 


In addition to Athanasius, I will think of translations when we sing that verse. 

This, from Mysteries of the Middle Ages by Thomas Cahill:

This early exaltation of Mother and Child already demonstrates the innovative Christian sense of grace, no longer something reserved for the fortunate few — the emperors and their retinues — but broadcast everywhere, bestowed on everyone, “heaped up, pressed down, and overflowing,” even on one as lowly and negligible as a nursing mother. In the words of a famous Latin hymn,

“God…is born from the guts of a girl.”

The hymn is “Adeste Fideles,” composed in the eighteenth centry (in a very medieval spirit) by John F. Wade. The full text of the cited quotation is

“Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine
Gestant puellae viscera”

The second line was unfortunately translated in the nineteenth century by Frederick Oakley as “Lo! he abhors not the Virgin’s womb.”

~     ~     ~    ~     ~

A Christmas poem by C.S. Lewis from A Widening Light

Among the oxen (like an ox I’m slow)
I see a glory in the stable grow
Which, with the ox’s dullness might at length
   Give me an ox’s strength.

Among the assess (stubborn I as they)
I see my Saviour where I looked for hay;
So may my beastlike folly learn at least
   The patience of a beast.

Among the sheep (I like a sheep have strayed)
I watch the manger where my Lord is laid;
Oh that my baa-ing nature would win thence
   Some wooly innocence!


4 thoughts on “A Carol and a Poem

  1. From Goethe
    “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”
    You’ve covered it for today, Carol.
    Hope your prime rib is yummy 🙂

  2. I love it!!!  I had to read your post to my dh .  He said “well, that’s what you get when you let someone from the 19th century translate Latin.”  LOL  Then one of the family said “Oh, I’m sure there’s probably one about placentas too!”  Ya gotta love this crew!Have a blessed Christmas morning!

Comments are cinnamon on my oatmeal!

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