Christmas In Ritual & Tradition - online book

The Observance Of Christmas In Various Lands And Ages.

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THE CHRISTIAN FEAST
With this lullaby may be compared a singularly lovely and quite untranslatable Latin cradle-song of unknown origin :
"Dormi, fili, dormi J mater
Cantat unigenito : Dormi, puer, dormi ! pater,
Nato clamat parvulo : Millies tibi laudes canimus
Mille, mille, millies.
Lectum stravi tibi soli,
Dormi, nate bellule ! Stravi lectum foeno molli :
Dormi, mi animule. Millies tibi laudes canimus
Mille, mille, millies.
                                       
Ne quid desit, sternam rosis,
Sternam foenum violis, Pavimentum hyacinthis
Et praesepe liliis. Millies tibi laudes canimus
Mille, mille, millies.
Sleep, my Child, in sleep recline ; Lullaby, mine Infant fair,
Heaven's King,
All glittering, Full of grace as lilies rare.
Close thine eyelids, O my treasure,
Loved past measure, Of my soul, the Lord, the pleasure ; Lullaby, O regal Child,
On the hay
My joy I lay ; Love celestial, meek and mild.
Why dost weep, my Babe ? alas !
Cold winds that pass Vex, or is't the little ass ? Lullaby, O Paradise j
Of my heart
Thou Saviour art ; On thy face I press a kiss." 20
(Translation by Countess Martinengo-Cesaresco.)
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