British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

A calendar of the traditional customs, practices & rituals of the British Isles.

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may i.]                              may day.                                      259
contributed to the erection of the tower, but his only-recorded act of favour to the college is the confirmation of its claim to the rectory charged with the annual payment.
The following hymn is sung on the occasion of this cere­mony:
4i Te Deum Patrem colimus, Te laudibus prosequimur, Qui corpus cibo reficis Ccelesti mentem gratia.
Te adoramus, O Jesu 1 Te, Fili unigenite! Tu, qui non dedignatus es Subire claustra Virginis.
Actus in crucem factus es, Irato Deo victima; Per te, Salvator unice, VitsB spes nobis rediit.
Tibi, seterne Spiritus, Cujus afflatu peperit Infantem Deum Maria, sternum benedicimus!
Triune Deus, hominum Salutis Auctor optime, Immensum hoc mysterium Ovanti lingua canixnus."
A correspondent of N. & Q. (2nd S. vii. p. 446) thinks this hymn was composed by Dr. Thomas Smith, a very learned fellow of Magdalen College, soon after the Eestora-tion, and that it was not sung till about the middle of the last century.*—Akerman, History of Oxford, vol. i. p. 251; Wade, Walks in Oxford, 1817, vol. i. p. 132.
* Whilst making some researches in the library of Christchurch, Oxford, Dr. Rimbault discovered what appeared to him to be the first draft of the hymn in question. It has the following note :—" This hymn is sung every day in Magdalen College Hall, Oxon, dinner and upper, throughout the year for the after-grace, by the chaplain, clerks, nd choristers there. Composed by Dr. Benjamin Rogers, Doctor of Musicke, of the University of Oxon, 1685." It has been popularly flupposed, says Dr. Rimbault, to be the Hymnus Eucharisticus, written by Dr. Nathaniel Ingelo, and sung at the civic feast at Guild­hall on the 5th of July, 1660, while the King and the other exalted personages were at dinner; but this is a mistake, for the words of Ingelo's hymn, very different from the Magdalen hymn, still exist, ard are to be found in Wood's Collection in the Ashmolean Museum.
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