Sunday, January 29, 2012

Præter rerum seriem, Josquin

Incredible piece. CPDL lists the text as

Præter rerum seriem
parit deum hominem
virgo mater.
Nec vir tangit virginem
nec prolis originem
novit pater.

Virtus sancti spiritus
opus illud cœlitus
operatur.
Initus et exitus
partus tui penitus
quis scrutatur?

Dei providentia
quæ disponit omnia
tam suave.
Tua puerperia
transfer in mysteria.
Mater ave.

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This is no normal scheme of things:
God and man is born of a virgin mother.
She has known no man;
the child's origin is unknown to the father.

By the Holy Spirit's power
this heavenly work has been brought about.
The beginning and end of your giving birth
who can really know?

By God's grace, which orders all things so smoothly,
your childbearing confronts us with a mystery.
Hail, Mother.