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Friday, April 06, 2007

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

based on a Medieval Latin poem ascribed to Bernard of Clairvaux

O sacred Head, now wounded,
      with grief and shame
      weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded,
      with thorns Thine only crown;
How pale Thou art with anguish,
      with sore abuse and scorn,
How does that visage languish,
      which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners' gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior; 'Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, assist me with Thy grace.

My burden in Thy Passion, Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
For it was my transgression which brought this woe on Thee.
I cast me down before Thee, wrath were my rightful lot;
Have mercy, I implore Thee; Redeemer, spurn me not!

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest Friend,
For this, Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

Amen.

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