Simeon…said unto Mary His mother, Luke 2:34–35
This Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against. Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
Words: From the appendix to the Roman Breviary (Bologna, Italy, 1827) (Saevo dolorum turbine). Translated from Latin to English by William J. Blew, The Church Hymn and Tune Book (London: Francis & John Rivington, 1852), Lent and Passion-tide section, number 24, alt.
If you know where to get a good photo of Blew (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you ?
The storm of sorrow howls around
That bleak and cheerless tree,
Where hangs the Sufferer, throned and crowned—
The cross of Calvary.
A weight of woe that head bows down,
Deep anguish racks His heart;
Face, hands, and feet, red torrents drown;
Those wounds—how wild their smart.
He weeps, He prays, He cries that last
And wildly wailing cry;
Now through His mother’s heart hath passed
The sword of agony.
He dies—hills, mountains, rocks and graves
Are riven, rent the main;
Yea, rock the cliffs, fields, floods and waves;
The veil is rent in twain.
Why then are our hard hearts unrent?
When sun, and moon, and stars
Wail sadly, with the world’s lament:
What sin our sorrow bars?
Wail, wail, for grief’s dark hour is this,
Young men and maidens, wail;
Anoint, and wash, and wipe, and kiss
Those feet so deadly pale.
Anoint, and wash with tears, and wipe,
With love’s long flowing tress,
That Lamb of Love—whose every stripe
Doth purge our guiltiness.
Oh! then, the peace and joy of all,
Jesu, our life and bliss—
In yon bright land our coronal,
Be Thou our light in this.