Christ-Sehnsucht for Lent

I always do advocate songs put together with words from holy Scripture, but especially if there’s great music to match. Tomás Luis de Victoria’s motet ‘Vadam et circuibo’ (info at ChoralWiki) must be one of the most beautiful expressions of longing I’ve heard from the Song of Songs (tr. adapted from Authorized Version):

Vadam et circuibo civitatem:
per vicos et plateas quaeram
quem diligit anima mea;
quaesivi illum, et non inveni.
Adiuro vos, filiae Jerusalem,
si inveneritis dilectum meum,
ut annuntietis ei quia amore langueo.

Qualis est dilectus tuus,
quia sic adiurasti nos?
Dilectus meus candidus et rubicundus,
electus ex milibus.
Talis est dilectus meus,
et est amicus meus,
filiae Jerusalem.
Quo abiit dilectus tuus,
o pulcherrima mulierum?
Quo declinavit? et quaeremus eum tecum
Ascendit in palmam, et apprehendit fructus eius.

‘I will rise now, and go about the city:
in the streets and in the broad ways I will seek
him whom my soul loveth;
I sought him, but I found him not.
I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
if ye find my beloved,
that ye tell him, that I am sick with love.

‘What is thy beloved more than another beloved,
that thou dost so charge us?
My beloved is white and ruddy,
the chiefest among ten thousand.
This is my beloved,
and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem.
Whither is thy beloved gone,
O thou fairest among women?
whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.
He will go up to the palm tree, and take hold of the fruit thereof.’

It stirs my Sehnsucht up from the waters, even out of the pool that like a mirror unmoved reflects the heavens. Pie Iesu Domine, our beloved, under whose wings we are come to trust, save us and take hold of our fruit. O sweet friend, my heart’s desire, meines Herzens Trost und Saft, be thou forever mine.


One response to “Christ-Sehnsucht for Lent

  1. Pingback: Duty and Desire « Cogito, Credo, Petam

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