Weekly Poem #15

Christus Resurrectus Est!

Vere Resurrectus Est! Alleluia!

Since it is Eastertide, I felt that an Easter poem would be in order. But I didn’t want to do one the usuals, such as “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today,” or even, “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” worthy poems though they be (and worth reading and singing with gusto), so I hunted a bit for something, and found the following German Easter song, which I feel is a bit ironic, since Easter is the earliest it will be until 2228, thus rendering the usual spring themes a little out of place this Easter, what with all the snow. So, here it is.

Easter Song, by Conrad von Queinfurt, d. 1382 (available online through the ccel)

Fair Spring, thou dearest season of the year,
Thou art brimful of sweet delights;
The creatures robbed of joy by winter drear
Thou dost repay for cold and gloomy nights.
I feel thy airs are soft and mild,
Thy winds are balmy and not wild,
O how unlike the wintry blast!
What Frost had bound in fetters fast,
Now feels the prison-time gone by,
For ’tis unbound and free;
Whether it climb or swim or fly,
Whatever kind it be,
Whether of water, earth, or sky,
‘Tis happy now we see.
The sun smiles with his lovely rays,
And sing, dear little birds, sing out your Maker’s praise!

So many joys hath Spring, but most of all
She hath one day above the rest,
That Christendom with one glad voice doth call
Of all bright days the first and best.
We hail thee, then, O chosen Day,
With many a loud and gladsome lay,
Thou art the day that God hath made
Well may our joy be now displayed!
Thou art the Pascha to the Greek,
And still we hear the Jew
Of thee as Passover doth speak,
And Latins know thee too
As Transitus, that crowns the Holy Week;
But thou, where’er is heard the German tongue,
Art holy Easter-tide, when life from Death hath sprung.

We hail thee, blessed Day, we greet thee well,
We praise thee ever, we adore
The Christ who triumphed over death and hell,
Whose death slew Death for evermore.
O sweetest day, that saw’st Thee rise,
Our Paschal Lamb, our Sacrifice,
Our Brother who hath won for us
A heritage most glorious!
Forest and foliage, corn and grass and flowers,
Would show their love to Thee!
The birds sing in the greening bowers,
Christ, they are praising Thee!
Thou wouldst not lack, had they our powers,
A song more worthy Thee!
For Thou art Conqueror, O Christ, to-day,
Who madest Death’s great power itself give way.

So Christians triumph as your heart desires
In chorus sweet and clear and strong,
Ye laymen in the church, ye priests in choirs,
Answer each other in your song.
Sing, “Christ the Lord is risen again,
Christ hath broken every chain.”
The year of jubilee He bringeth in,
True freedom for all faithful hearts to win;
So to His table go thou solemnly,
Where in His flesh and blood
The Paschal Lamb itself is offered thee–
The Lamb slain on the rood.
Praise the true Christ with happy hearts and free,
Praise Him, for He is good!
Thus, Spring, thou well may’st speak of joy to man,
Thou hast the Easter Day that ended Death’s dark ban.


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