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Songs and Hymns of the Earliest Greek Christian Poets
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III.
HYMN TO CHRIST ON EASTER DAY
(AFTER LONG SILENCE),

Cristi anax, se prvton, epei logon heri dvka,
dhnaion katecwn, fqegxom apo stomatwn,

(Dactylic hexameter, and pentameter.)

O Christ the King! since breath pent up so long

I have outpoured, Thou first shalt be my song;

May this my word, the current of my mind,

If lawful thus to speak, acceptance find,

And unto Thee as holy incense rise

Of holiest priest, a grateful sacrifice!

The Father's Brightness, Word of the Great Mind,

Who cannot be by power of speech defined,

High Light of highest Light, the Only Son,

10Image and Seal of the Immortal One,

Without beginning; from same Fount of Light

With the Great Spirit; infinite in might:

All-glorious Thou, and Author of all good:

From age to age Thy truth hath firmly stood.

Enthroned Thou reignest high in heaven above,

Almighty Breath of Mind and Lord of Love.

Throughout this framèd universe Divine

Whatever is, or shall be, all is Thine:

Thou madest all, to all Thou givest life,

20And all Thou guidest: nowhere fault or strife,

Nor error in Thy workmanship is found:

The whole in willing chain to Thee is bound.

Thou laid'st the world's foundation: and Thy nod

All things obey, and own their Sovereign God.

For Thee the lofty sun, the king of day,

Quenching the stars, holds on his fiery way.

For Thee, for so Thou bidst, the eye of night,

The moon, waxes and wanes, full orb of light.

For Thee the belt of heaven, all-dancing ring,

30And seasons kindly mingling, laugh and sing.

For Thee the fixèd stars and planets shine

In course, and speak Thy wisdom all divine.

Thy light they are, the heavenly minds that be,

All sing on high the glorious Trinity.

Man is Thy glory too, angel below,

Here placed to sing, O Light, Thy beauteous glow.

Immortal, fleshless, glory's highest ray,

Who mortal flesh yet took'st, man's woes to stay,

For Thee I live, for Thee my songs arise,

40For Thee I am a breathing sacrifice;

For this, of all things once possessed by me,

Alone remains, and this I give to Thee.

I tie my tongue, and loose it at Thy will;

In either, what Thou wouldst may I fulfil,

Speak what is right, nor think aught else beside:

From mire select the pearl, with Thee my Guide;

Gold from the sand, the rose from thorny brake,

From straw-encumbered ears the pure grain take.

To Thee, O Christ, this wreath of uttered praise,

50As firstfruits of my loving toil, I raise.

For from the dead, with whom He mingled lay,

Great Christ arose, upon this gladsome day;

Gates of grim Hades He did open fling;

And broke death's power, and robbed him of his sting;

Rushed from the tomb, appeared to speaking men,

For whom, once born, He died and rose again;

That we new-born might rise, from death set free,

And ever live, ascending Lord, with Thee.

This day glad Heaven with acclamation rings,

60And choir angelic crowning anthem sings.

This day my closèd lips I loose in song

To Thee, to whom my lute and breath belong.

Of mind to Mind, of word to the true Word,

I here have offered what I could afford:

Hereafter, if He will, I hope to bring

To the Great Spirit worthier offering.

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