Hymn 12 – To Saint Blaise

Standard

 

 
 
 
 
 
Sainct Blaise, qui vis aux cieux
Comme un ange precieux,
Si de la terre où nous sommes,
Tu entens la voix des hommes,
Recevant les vœux de tous,
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Ce jourd’huy que nous faisons
A ton autel oraisons
Et processions sacrées
Pour nous, nos bleds et nos prées,
Chantant ton hymne à genous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Chasse loin de nostre chef
Toute peste et tout meschef
Que l’air corrompu nous verse,
Quand la main de Dieu diverse
Respand sur nous son courrous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Garde nos petits troupeaux,
Laines entieres et peaux,
De la ronce dentelée,
De tac et de clavelée,
De morfonture et de tous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Que tousjours accompagnez
Soient de mastins rechignez,
Le jour allant en pasture,
Et la nuict en leur closture,
De peur de la dent des loups :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Si le loup de sang ardent
Prend un mouton en sa dent,
Quand du bois il sort en queste,
Huans tous aprés la beste,
Que soudain il soit recous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Garde qu’en allant aux champs,
Les larrons qui sont meschans,
Ne desrobent fils ne mere ;
Garde-les de la vipere
Et d’aspics au ventre rous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Que ny sorciers ny poison
N’endommagent leur toison
Par parole ou par breuvage ;
Qu’ils passent l’esté sans rage,
Que l’autonne leur soit dous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Garde-nous de trop d’ardeurs
Et d’excessives froideurs ;
Donne-nous la bonne année,
Force bleds, force vinée,
Sans fiévre, rongne, ne clous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Garde nos petits vergers
Et nos jardins potagers,
Nos maisons et nos familles,
Enfans, et femmes, et filles,
Et leur donne bons espous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Garde poulles et poussins
De renards et de larcins ;
Garde sauves nos avettes ;
Qu’ils portent force fleurettes
Tousjours en leurs petits trous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Fay naistre force boutons
Pour engraisser nos moutons,
Et force fueille menue,
Que paist la troupe cornue
De nos chévres et nos boucs :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Chasse la guerre bien loing;
Romps les armes dans le poing
Du soldat qui frappe et tue
Celuy qui tient la charrue,
Mangeant son bien en deux coups :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Que le plaideur grippe-tout,
Par procés qui sont sans bout,
N’enveloppe le bon homme
Qui chiquanant se consomme,
Puis meurt de faim et de pous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Que l’impudent usurier,
Laissant l’interest premier,
N’assemble point sans mesure
Usure dessus usure,
Pour ravir son petit clous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Garde nos petits ruisseaux
De souillure de pourceaux,
Naiz pour engraisser leur pance ;
Pour eux tombe en abondance
Le glan des chesnes secous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Nos genices au printemps
Ne sentent mouches ne tans,
Enflent de laict leurs mammelles ;
Que pleines soient nos faiscelles
De fourmages secs et mous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Nos bouviers sans murmurer
Puissent la peine endurer,
Bien repeus à nostre table;
Soient les bœufs dedans l’estable
Tousjours de fourrages saouls :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Chasse loin les paresseux ;
Donne bon courage à ceux
Qui travaillent, sans blesseure
De congnée, et sans morseure
De chiens enragez et fous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Bref, garde-nous de terreurs,
Et de paniques fureurs,
Et d’illusion estrange,
Et de feu sacré, qui mange
Membres, arteres et pouls :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Donne que ceux qui viendront
Prier ton nom, et rendront
A ton autel leurs offrandes,
Jouissent de leurs demandes,
De tous leurs pechez absous :
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
 
Sainct Blaise, qui vis aux cieux
Comme un ange precieux,
Si de la terre où nous sommes,
Tu entens la voix des hommes,
Recevant les vœux de tous,
Je te prie, escoute-nous.
A HYMN OF FATHERS OF FAMILIES
 
TO SAINT BLAISE
On the chant Te rogamus audi nos
 
Saint Blaise, you who live in the heavens
Like a precious angel
If, from the earth where we are,
You can hear the voice of men,
Receiving the vows of us all
I pray you, hear us.
 
Today as we make
Our prayers at your altar
And sacred processions
For us, our homes and fields,
Singing you a hymn on our knees,
I pray you, hear us.
 
Chase far from our heads
All illness and all evils
That the corrupt air pours on us
When the hand of God stretches
Wide on us in his anger:
I pray you, hear us.
 
Keep our little flocks,
Their fleeces and skins whole
From barbed nettles
From scabies and sheep-pox
And blue-tongue and everything:
I pray you, hear us.
 
May they be always accompanied
By bad-tempered mastiffs,
By day as they go to pasture,
By night in their fold,
[Kept] from fear of the wolf’s teeth:
I pray you, hear us.
 
If the hot-blooded wolf
Takes a sheep in its teeth
When it leaves the wood to hunt
Calling the pack after the sheep,
May it suddenly retreat:
I pray you, hear us.
 
Watch that, when going to the fields,
Wicked thieves
Steal no lamb or ewe.
Keep them from the viper
And red-bellied serpents:
I pray you, hear us.
 
That no sorcerer or poison
Should damage their fleeces
With spell or potion;
That they may spend the summer free of ills
That the autumn may be kind to them:
I pray you, hear us.
 
Keep us from too much heat
And from excessive cold
Give us a good year,
Bring on the corn and the vines –
No fever, wasting or boils:
I pray you, hear us.
 
Guard our little orchards
Our little kitchen gardens,
Our homes and families
Our children, wives and daughters,
And give them all good marriages:
I pray you, hear us.
 
Keep chickens and chicks
From foxes and thieves;
Keep our bees safe
That they may carry many little flowers
Always in their little bags:
I pray you, hear us.
 
Make many buds grow
To fatten up our sheep
And many slender leaves
To feed the horned herd
Of our goats and rams:
I pray you, hear us.
 
Keep war far from here;
Break the weapons in the hand
Of the soldier who strikes and kills
Those who guide the plough,
Eating up their possessions in a moment:
I pray you, hear us.
 
Keep the grab-everything litigant
In his endless lawsuits
From swallowing up the good man,
May he consume himself in quibbling
Then die of hunger and lice:
I pray you, hear us.
 
May the impudent loan-shark
Waive his initial fee
And not pile up without limit
Huge interest on top of interest
To build his own stash:
I pray you, hear us.
 
Keep our little streams
From the filth of pigs
Born to fatten their bellies;
May the acorns of shaken oaks
Fall abundantly for them:
I pray you, hear us.
 
Keep our heifers in spring
From biting of flies and such like;
Swell their udders with milk
That our dishes may be full
Of cheeses, dry and soft:
I pray you, hear us.
 
May our cowmen without murmur
Be able to keep up their work
Well fed at our tables;
May the cattle in the stable
Always be well-fed with fodder:
I pray you, hear us.
 
Chase far from here the lazy,
Give endurance to those
Who work, no wounds
From the axe, and no bites
From rabid or mad dogs:
I pray you, hear us.
 
In short, keep us from fear
And terrifying panic,
And from strange visions
And from the holy fire which consumes
Limbs, veins and blood:
I pray you, hear us.
 
May those who come
To pray in your name and give
At your altar their offerings
Be successful in all their requests
And absolved of all their sins:
I pray you, hear us.
 
Saint Blaise, you who live in the heavens
Like a precious angel
If, from the earth where we are,
You can hear the voice of men,
Receiving all our vows
I pray you, hear us.
 
 
I’ve loved this poem since first getting beyond the opening couple of stanzas a few years ago. Though it starts seriously enough (or appears to), by the time you’ve got to the fourth stanza little doubts appear; and the catalogue of rustic prayers becomes ever more naive and amusing. I love the bees and their ‘little bags’, the prayer against slips of the axe, the invocation against loan-sharks!
 
A note tells us this is “a rustic hymn of good labourers and villagers, who pray to St Blaise on their day off on his feast day, while making their processions, that he will take care of their little families, and give them all that is necessary in their little homes, etc.” It almost achieves the same gentle laughing tone as Ronsard… What I think is so special about the poem is the way Ronsard clearly laughs with, not at, his rustic subjects. He (and we) are superior to them and would not make such daft supplications – but under it all there is the suggestion that we’re not so very different, and if we look at ourselves closely the way we pray for (or, these days, simply express) our own wants and desires is really pretty much the same: practical trivia, rather than eternal values.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Advertisements

About fattoxxon

Who am I? Lover of all sorts of music - classical, medieval, world (anything from Africa), world-classical (Uzbek & Iraqi magam for instance), and virtually anything that won't be on the music charts... Lover of Ronsard's poetry (obviously) and of sonnets in general. Reader of English, French, Latin & other literature. And who is Fattoxxon? An allusion to an Uzbek singer - pronounce it Patahan, with a very plosive 'P' and a throaty 'h', as in 'khan')

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s