This semester I have been taking a class called "Creative Writing: Translation." It's a lot of fun, and I thought some of my readers (all two or three of them, huh?) might enjoy one or two of my translations. So here goes my version of the Vexilla Regis.
The royal banners forth proceed,
The Cross shines out its mystery
By which life bore death's heavy load
And life by death gained victory.
And when the lance's dreadful blade
Did wound our Savior's holy side,
That we be cleansed from sin, his blood
And water flowed, a blessed tide.
Fulfilled is that which David sang
In faithful song of prophecy,
When to the nations he proclaimed,
"Lo, God hath reignèd from the Tree."
O Tree, most fair, aglow with light,
With royal purple beautified,
Thou, chosen as a worthy wood,
To bear that body sanctified!
O blest art thou, upon whose arms
There hung the price of all mankind,
On which Our Lord, a standard set,
Rescued the souls in hell confined.
O Cross, our only hope, all hail!
In this the blessed Passion-time,
Give to the pious greater grace,
And wash away the sinner's crime.
O Trinity, Salvation's spring,
Let every soul give praise to thee,
And grant the prize to those to whom
Thou gavest the Cross' victory.