Sol, ecce, lentus occidens

A beautiful hymn by Anselmo Lentini, OSB, from today’s Vespers. You can find a translation here.

Sol, ecce, lentus occidens
montes et arva et æquora
mæstus relinquit, innovat
sed lucis omen crastinæ,

Mirantibus mortalibus
sic te, Creator provide,
leges vicesque temporum
umbris dedisse et lumini.

Ac dum, tenebris æthera
silentio prementibus,
vigor laborum deficit,
quies cupita quæritur,

Spe nos fideque divites
tui beamur lumine
Verbi, quod est a sæculis
splendor paternæ gloriæ.

Est ille sol qui nesciat
ortum vel umquam vesperum;
quo terra gestit contegi,
quo cæli in ævum iubilant.

Hac nos serena perpetim
da luce tandem perfrui,
cum Nato et almo Spiritu
tibi novantes cantica. Amen.

2 Comments

  1. Kevin Tracy says:

    The clause “innovat sed lucis omen crastinæ” is interesting. First, there is the postpositive “sed”, which is curious. But then there is the question of what “omen” refers to. I took it to refer to the beauty of a sunset and tried it this way: “but contrives a portent of tomorrow’s light”.

    1. Andrew Beer says:

      I think that’s exactly right, Kevin. The light of today’s sunset is an omen or portent of tomorrow’s sunrise. And I think the side-by-side pairing of “relinquit, innovat” (made possible by the postponing of “sed”) nicely anticipates the description of the “lumen Verbi” in the later stanzas. In this world, the light of day does end, but even in its ending it already anticipates its renewal in the next day: which points to the eternal light of the Word, which we anticipate as we draw near the end of our days.

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