Scripture Verse

A sword shall pierce through thy own soul. Luke 2:35

Introduction

portrait
Louis F. Benson (1855–1930)

Words: Va­ri­ous­ly at­trib­ut­ed to Gre­go­ry I, Ber­nard of Clair­vaux, In­no­cent III, Bo­na­ven­tu­ra, Ja­co­po­ne da To­di, Pope John XXII, Pope Gre­go­ry XI, and oth­ers (Sta­bat ma­ter do­lo­ro­sa). Eng­lish trans­la­tion com­piled by Lou­is F. Ben­son, 1910.

Music: Sta­bat Ma­ter (Mech­lin) Mech­lin church tune (🔊 pdf nwc).

Lyrics

Near the cross, her vi­gil keep­ing,
Stood the mo­ther, worn with weep­ing,
Where He hung, the dy­ing Lord;
Through her soul, in ang­uish groan­ing,
Bowed in sor­row, sigh­ing, moan­ing,
Passed the sharp and pierc­ing sword.

O the weight of her af­flict­ion!
Hers, who won God’s be­ne­dict­ion,
Hers, who bore God’s Ho­ly One:
O that speech­less, cease­less yearn­ing!
O those dim eyes ne­ver turn­ing
From her won­drous, suf­fer­ing Son!

Who up­on that mo­ther gaz­ing,
In her trou­ble so amaz­ing,
Born of wo­man, would not weep?
Who of Christ’s dear mo­ther think­ing,
While her Son that cup is drink­ing,
Would not share her sor­row deep?

For His people’s sin chas­tis­èd
She be­held her Son des­pis­èd,
Bound and bleed­ing ’neath the rod;
Saw the Lord’s Anoint­ed tak­en,
Dying de­so­late, for­sak­en,
Heard Him yield His soul to God.

Near Thy cross, O Christ, abid­ing,
Grief and love my heart di­vid­ing,
I with her would take my place;
By Thy guard­ian cross up­hold me,
In Thy dy­ing, Christ, en­fold me
With the death­less arms of grace.