The Hymn of St. Casimir
A Devout Hymn in honour of the Mother of God (ascribed to St. Anselm), which St. Casimir of Poland was accustomed daily to recite, and which, in the year 1604, at the renewal of his shrine, was found lying under his head.
OMNI DIE DIC MARIAE
From day to day sing loud thy lay
To Mary's name, O soul of mine;
And freely praise her festal days
And actions of her life divine.
And let thine eyes, in glad surprise,
Gaze on her wondrous dignity;
Sing through the earth the Mother's worth,
And sing the Maiden's purity.
Oh, bend thee low, and pray that thou
Be lightened of thy weight of sin;
Call her to thee, lest the dark sea
Of sin divide and whelm thee in.
Her hand hath given the gifts of Heaven
To us who own her matchless worth;
A Queen Divine, her graces shine
Bright over all in Heaven and earth.
Come then, my tongue, raise high the song,
To her, the Maid and Mother too;
Who, by her Son, hath now undone
The early curse that wrought our woe.
This Queen of power (the world her dower)
Be the sweet subject of thy song;
Her graces fair, her glories rare,
Resound from thy exulting tongue.
Her peerless worth, from this time forth,
Let my conspiring senses sing;
By day and night my sweet delight
Shall be her blest remembering.
Thou wilt not find, 'midst all mankind,
A tongue of such rare eloquence,
Fit to repeat the praises sweet
Of Mary's sovereign excellence.
Yet all are free, in their degree,
God's Virgin-Mother to confess;
A joy to each, though none may reach
The height of her great worthiness.
Whoso are fain her love to gain,
With earnest mind her praise must sing;
For ever thus flow down to us
Rich streams from this thrice-hallowed spring.
QUAMVIS SCIAM, QUOD MARIAM.
What though I know no tongue below
May rightly speak of Mary's grace;
Unwise the man, most vain, who can
Hear her sweet name and hold his peace.
Error and guile, each snare, each wile,
Her power doth ever bring to nought;
She shineth forth o'er all the earth
With Heaven's eternal wisdom fraught.
Her virtues rare, like flowerets fair,
Adorn the Church's garden-bed;
Her actions each, her every speech,
So many wondrous graces shed.
In early time, Eve's fatal crime
Did shut the gates of Paradise;
But our new Eve doth straight believe,
Obedient, and re-opes the skies.
Through sinful Eve mankind receive
The doom severe of banished men;
But Mary sweet our joyful feet
Leads to our happy home again.
Her then we love, and praise above
All creatures else in Heaven and earth;
To her we pray, and ceaseless pay
Our highest homage to her worth.
To her I sue, with reverence due,
Whose sovereign power I own with joy;
And meekly pray she chase away
Whate'er may work the soul's annoy.
Oh, may she give that I may live
Obedient to her Son's command;
And when my doom of death shall come,
Full in His blissful presence stand.
O fairest, best, O Queen confest,
O honour bright of woman's race,
Chosen of Heaven, to thee is given
To rise and take the chiefest place.
Mother most dear, incline thine ear
To us who sing these songs to thee;
Cleansed of our sin, help us to win
The life that lasts eternally.
O stately shoot of Jesse's root,
That bears the flower of hope Divine;
The world's clear light, its glory bright,
God's temple, yea, his inner shrine.
VITAE FORMA, MORUM NORMA.
Virtue's best school, our truest rule,
Fulness of grace and blessedness,
The temple bright of living light,
Pattern of perfect righteousness.
Hail, Virgin blest, the gate of rest
Thou unto sinners openest wide;
Nor serpent's guile, nor crafty wile,
Could ever bend thy steps aside.
O wondrous fair, thy beauty rare
Hath smitten e'en the King Divine;
His chosen bride o'er all beside,
Fair daughter of King David's line.
O jewel bright, O lily white
Of purity, O fresh-blown rose,
Thou dost command the Virgin-band
That aye through Heaven rejoicing goes.
Oh, give me power, each changing hour,
By act and word to tell thy praise;
With willing tongue and boldest song
To sing of all thy perfect ways.
With earnest vow, I pray that thou
Be ever present to my mind;
That I may sing unwearying
Thy praises free and unconfined.
What though I know my lips are slow
And stained with much iniquity?
I'll boldly dare my part to bear
In the sweet songs that rise to thee.
Rejoice, rejoice, for every voice
Brings tribute due unto thy name;
Thou art confest the occasion blest
Through which our great Redemption came.
Pure as the dew, as fertile too,
Thou, a chaste Maid, dost bear a Child;
O stately palm, a healing balm
Breathes from thy flowers and fruitage mild.
Oh, still may we delighted be
With thy rich bloom and odorous breath,
Whose Fruit adored (our gracious Lord),
Hath freed us from the woes of death.
PULCHRA TOTA SINE NOTA.
Thou art all fair, thy beauty rare
Was ever spotless; grant that we
At every hour may sing thy power
With earthly hearts made chaste through thee.
O blest of Heaven, through thee are given
New joys this weeping world to cheer;
Through thee once more the heavenly choir
Stands wide to contrite sinners here.
Through thee the earth comes glorious forth
Exulting in the new-born light;
For now at last for aye are past
The shadows of the ancient light.
Well didst thou say one happy day:
"The lowly are exalted high,
The needy poor have food in store;"
So didst thou meekly prophesy.
Sin's devious ways, whose endless maze
Erewhile thy children's footsteps traced,
They tread no more; and thy sweet power
False doctrine far away hath chased.
Well hast thou taught to set at naught
The world and all its fleeting show;
Deny the flesh its wanton wish;
Seek God; and passion's pride subdue.
The mind lift high beyond the sky
In humble following of our Lord;
The body wear by fast and prayer
For Heaven's ineffable reward.
O Maiden chaste, thy womb embraced
The Lord, Redeemer of mankind;
And thus do we regain through thee
Our life, and our lost honours find.
A Mother true, a Maiden too,
Thou dost bring forth the King of kings
Who dwelleth high above the sky,
Lord over all created things.
Thrice blest, through whom to us doth come
The victory o'er our crafty foe;
And peace is given by pitying Heaven
To sinners sunk in hopeless woe.
BENEDICTUS REX INVICTUS.
Blest is the King all-conquering
Whose Mother thou art owned to be;
Who brings our race its Saving Grace,
The Uncreated, born of thee.
Come thou, who best with comfort blest
Canst heal the sick and drooping mind,
Free us from all the woes that fall
On Satan's children, proud and blind.
Pray that my soul may reach the goal
Where saints their happy rest do take;
O Mother see, I never be
Plunged in the dark and fiery lake.
All that I seek, O Mother meek,
Is that thou heal each wound of mine;
And that my mind may ever find
In thee these gifts of grace Divine.
To be all chaste and sweetly graced
With modesty of sober life,
Of mind correct and circumspect,
Meek-hearted, gentle, hating strife;
A plenteous store of needful lore,
Drawn from the oracles of Heaven;
A filial awe to search God's law;
A life to contemplation given.
A purpose fixed, a sweetness mixed
With gravity; kind and benign,
Simple and pure, of thought mature,
A lowly patience like to thine;
That heavenly truth be in my mouth
And in my understanding heart,
All sin to hate, and venerate
My God with every pious act.
Oh, come, be thou our teacher now,
The helper of Christ's people here;
Grant us thy peace, a blest release
From strife with this world's godless will.
Star of the Sea, all hail to thee,
Safe guide through ocean's perilous ways,
The stars that rise to light the skies,
They pale before thy sovereign rays.
TUA DULCI PRECE FULCI.
Support and cheer thy suppliants here,
And help us with thy pleading love;
Whatever weight doth aggravate,
Or warp our minds, do thou remove.
Be joyful now, blest Maid, for thou
Hast freed our souls from Satan's fraud;
Since from thy womb to us hath come,
In very flesh, our very God.
O Virgin pure, how rich a dower,
In thy dear Son, doth come to thee;
To nurse thy Child, yet undefiled
To keep the flower of purity.
Thou'rt still the same for Maiden fame;
And still thou art a Mother blest;
And He from whom thy life doth come
Is the Sweet Babe that seeks thy breast.
In grief I pine; but, Mother mine,
Come thou and give me of thy joy;
Come and impart to my sick heart
The remedy for which I sigh.
Deign to commend, O Mother-friend,
My anxious heart to Christ Thy Child;
So, though the world a wreck be hurled,
I may escape the waters wild.
Grant that my life be free from strife,
Meek and of perfect modesty:
Through all my days tread guileless ways,
In firm unwavering constancy.
Let not the chain of wishes vain
E'er twine around my captive heart;
Strive but to blind the hardened mind
Of those who choose the evil part.
Nor rage, nor hate, nor pride elate,
E'er hold my soul their captive slave;
Whence frequent flows a tide of woes,
That threatens all with whelming wave.
Oh, pray thy Child, that reconciled
This heart henceforth His law embrace;
And that the foe ne'er oversow
His tares, to choke the seeds of grace.
And give thine aid, O Mother-Maid,
Thy comfort sweet to all who join
Their songs to praise thy festal days
And actions of thy life divine.