Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Eructavit cor meum. . . .

Why the text of a psalm? Not sure, actually. This psalm occurred in yesterday's daily office and it's been on my mind. It's one of the psalms in the traditional Little Office of Our Lady, I think for Lauds if I remember correctly. It's a beautiful text and this is one of the most beautiful of the translations. Somewhere in the past two hundred and fifty years, though, someone's tinkered with it. It used to begin "My heart is inditing of a good matter. . . " and that's the text Handel used for one of his Coronation Anthems. I think I prefer that one, probably because I can hear the music when I hear that text, although it may just be my curmudgeonly preference for antiquity.

Psalm 45. Eructavit cor meum.

MY heart overfloweth with a good matter; I speak the things which I have made concerning the King. * My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
2 Thou art fairer than the children of men; * full of grace are thy lips, because God hath blessed thee for ever.
3 Gird thee with thy sword upon thy thigh, O thou Most Mighty, * according to thy worship and renown.
4 Good luck have thou with thine honour: * ride on, because of the word of truth, of meekness, and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
5 Thy arrows are very sharp in the heart of the King's enemies, * and the people shall be subdued unto thee.
6 Thy seat, O God, endureth for ever; * the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
7 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; * wherefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
8 All thy garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia; * out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.
9 Kings’ daughters are among thy honourable women; * upon thy right hand doth stand the queen in a vesture of gold, wrought about with divers colours.
10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider; incline thine ear; * forget also thine own people, and thy father's house.
11 So shall the King have pleasure in thy beauty; * for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him.
12 And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; * like as the rich also among the people shall make their supplication before thee.
13 The King’s daughter is all glorious within; * her clothing is of wrought gold.
14 She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework: * the virgins that be her fellows shall bear her company, and shall be brought unto thee.
15 With joy and gladness shall they be brought, * and shall enter into the King's palace.
16 Instead of thy fathers, thou shalt have children, * whom thou mayest make princes in all lands.
17 I will make thy Name to be remembered from one generation to another; * therefore shall the people give thanks unto thee, world without end.