For your convenience I have provided an interlinear translation of the text below. Please enjoy this acceptably dignified and sensitive performance by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, as Paul Salamunovich directs them on Morten Lauridsen’s well-known setting:
O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
And sacrament wondrous
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
That animals would see the newborn Lord
jacentem in praesepio.
Lain low in a manger.
Beata virgo, cujus viscera
O blessed virgin, whose womb
Became worthy to carry
Christ the Lord.
Note: some overeager grammarians and Catholic theologians may take umbrage over the fact that I have translated meruerunt as an ingressive. To all such people I offer my most humble and sincere apologies for this liberty.
But strange the world below, it seems,
So gentle, still, so soft,
That is so sullen and hard,
In violent contention, deceives us all.
And still it holds, the dawn refuses;
The quiet cold and silent stillness,
Bitter dark and empty sounds,
The nothingness of night suffuses
The desolation of hopelessness,
But still, the cock awaits the dawn.
At length it was a most lugubrious lagoon
That flowed from the fountain pen of a dubious buffoon
For whom loquacity and brute audacity
Sans elevated eloquent opacity
That obfuscates with ostentatious show the end
And obliterates with oblong obtucity the penned
Poetic point sufficed to ornament his verse.
For hidden memories
The moon is dim,
Where nocturnal murmurs
Are mute along the mild
Wind, it moves across the expanse
As darkness lurks in silence—
Tenebrous the fragile tremble—
Soundless, sacred, sweet,
Then all unmoving.
A crag that threatens not the heavens,
Towers atrocious over man, where brutal
The ridge extends as violent glory
Over-stands the conquered.
And he is like a haughty beast
That thunders horrendous the stone—
Firm the wretched peak,
While wandering zephyrs and down falling
The waters rushes; so run off the roughest pass
Hasty angst and idle labours;
Sediment falls like tears from the eyes,
And a precious child weeps alone;
The gradient smooth.
The beauty of a broken sound
Trembles uncertain, where ripples
Scatter across the placid water—
Simply evident, the cool and gentle
River hastens, restless, like a clear plain
Or gentle foothill, rising and rolling in the wind,
The ripples confuse themselves abroad.
And at ease recline a thousand daffodils
Luxurious and bright in the sun at noon,
As light along the waters, winds,
She seems to weep alone,
Though utter not a sound,
The sound of patient sorrow sulks
In sullen decorum. They often laugh
As mad men will at boorish humor,
Like cows raging among the quaintly
Painted pastures. But utter not a sound
The patient spirit—she weeps as crystal,
It shines or rings in silence, tenuous the air.
Yes, finely crafted melancholy is like a wine
Refined and duly chosen, for the patient
Softly gleaming whispers on the banks
Of sandy shoals, the delicate flower withers
In romantic longings of the soul; she sings a lovely
Melody, like whispers on the shore—
The delicate sound of noon-tide billows
Come to rest on the pillows of warm sand.
And there are many a child wandering sweetly
Breathing the fragrant airs the breeze blow by—
Sweetly the celestial whisper,
Delicate the voice of meekness,
In heavenly tune she sings the glorious stillness.
Still she sings, like a flower whither it may blossom,
Bend and sway freely in the noon-tide breeze,
The lovely whispers on the gleaming shoals,
Along the gentle coast, whither flower wither.
My Dear and fickle reader,
It’s time for another paroxysm of poetry. For those of you not familiar with the custom, it is a publishing of one poem a day, in a spontaneous seizure-like fashion, for the duration of seven days. It’s kind of like when you’re sitting in a quiet class room and suddenly find yourself uncontrollably spewing Shakespeare at the mouth all over the place.
Anyway, the theme of this particular poetry extravaganza, which clearly and deliberately violates all the ancient sumptuary laws, is ‘impressionistic’ poetry, where the term ‘impressionistic’ is used with great liberality, intended only to give an impression of the genera it describes. To which end, the author strongly advises his reader to read, of all that follows, the images and not the words.
Your caring and frivolous friend,