As Holy Lent goes forward, I am offering my own translation of some of the hymns for the Divine Office. Although not strictly literal, my translations do adhere to the sense of the traditional Latin texts. I have prayed with these texts and sung them for a number of years. The melodies given in the Liber Hymnarius work well, although minor adaptations of the neums are needed in a few instances.
Kind Maker of the world, give ear,
Accept the prayer and own the tear,
Before your Seat of Mercy spent
In this most holy fast of Lent.
The secrets of each life you see:
You measure our infirmity;
Teach wisdom in the inward parts;
Refresh and heal our broken hearts.
Our sins are manifold and sore;
Our spirits now to health restore;
And for your Name’s sake, make each soul,
That feels and owns its sickness, whole.
Give watchfulness o’er every sense
Give grace for outward abstinence,
That far from Egypt’s spread of sin
The soul may keep her fast within.
Hear us, O Blessed Trinity!
Shine bright within, O Unity!
That at the end of Forty Days
Our healing may become your praise. Amen.