Epilogue: Hymns For The Christian's Day (Epilogus)

A poem by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius

Newly Translated Into English Verse By R. Martin Pope is below this original.


Inmolat Deo Patri
pius, fidelis, innocens, pudicus
dona conscientiae,
quibus beata mens abundat intus:
alter et pecuniam
recidit, unde victitent egeni.
Nos citos iambicos
sacramus et rotatiles trochaeos,
sanctitatis indigi
nec ad levamen pauperum potentes;
adprobat tamen Deus
pedestre carmen, et benignus audit.
Multa divitis domo
sita est per omnes angulos supellex.
Fulget aureus scyphus,
nec aere defit expolita pelvis:
est et olla fictilis,
gravisque et ampla argentea est parabsis.
Sunt eburna quaepiam,
nonnulla quercu sunt cavata et ulmo:
omne vas fit utile,
quod est ad usum congruens herilem,
Instruunt enim domum
ut empta magno, sic parata ligno.
Me paterno in atrio
ut obsoletum vasculum caducis
Christus aptat usibus,
sinitque parte in anguli manere.
Munus ecce fictile
inimus intra regiam salutis;
attamen vel infimam
Deo obsequelam praestitisse prodest.
Quidquid illud accidit,
iuvabit ore personasse Christum.

Epilogue: Hymns For The Christian'S Day

The pure and faithful saint, whose heart is whole,
To God the Father makes his sacrifice
From out the treasures of a stainless soul,
Glad gifts of innocence, beyond all price:
Another with free hand bestows his gold,
Whereby his needy neighbour may be fed.
No wealth of holiness my heart doth hold,
No store have I to buy my brothers bread:
So here I humbly dedicate to Thee
The rolling trochee and iambus swift;
Thou wilt approve my simple minstrelsy,
Thine ear will listen to Thy servant's gift.
The rich man's halls are nobly furnish├Ęd;
Therein no nook or corner empty seems;
Here stands the brazen laver burnish├Ęd,
And there the golden goblet brightly gleams;
Hard by some crock of clumsy earthen ware,
Massive and ample lies a silver plate;
And rough-hewn cups of oak or elm are there
With vases carved of ivory delicate.
Yet every vessel in its place is good,
So be it for the Master's service meet;
The priceless salver and the bowl of wood
Alike He needs to make His home complete.
Therefore within His Father's spacious hall
Christ fits me for the service of a day,
Mean though I be, a vessel poor and small,--
And in some lowly corner lets me stay.
Lo in the palace of the King of Kings
I play the earthen pitcher's humble part;
Yet to have done Him meanest service brings
A thrill of rapture to my thankful heart:
Whate'er the end, this thought will joy afford,
My lips have sung the praises of my Lord.

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