John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Advent 2009: There Is No Rose of Such Virtue

Here's another old English Christmas carol. Benjamin Britten did a gorgeous setting of this for his Ceremony of Carols, which is a work that has really grown on me over the years. I remember my mom had a recording on vinyl, but I didn't care for it much. I wanted to hear "real" Christmas carols, not weird ones with dumb names. Plus, I didn't really gain an appreciation for classical choral singing until well into adulthood.

You'll note that this poem is in both English and Latin (plus one word of Latinized Hebrew), and that some of the Latin words are underlined. If you hover your mouse pointer over those underlined words, you'll see an English translation. Ooh, fancy!

There Is No Rose of Such Virtue

There is no rose of such virtue
As is the rose that bare Jesu;

For in this rose containèd was
Heaven and earth in little space;
   Res miranda.

By that rose we may well see
That he is God in persons three,
   Pari forma.

The angels sungen the shepherds to:
Gloria in excelsis deo:

Leave we all this worldly mirth,
And follow we this joyful birth;

Author unknown (English, 14th century)

Previous Advent posts:

2003: The Little Road to Bethlehem
2004: “Serenade,” A Christmas Fantasy (La Fontaine)
2005: Primeval Image
2006: Rise, Happy Morn
2007: Greetings Card
2008: Merry Xmas Everybody

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Tags: poet's corner

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