Notker Balbulus

The Hymnbook
The Common of the Saints

For One Martyr

[N.42] "Quid tu virgo"



O virgin, mother, why dost thou weep, beautiful Rachel, thou whose countenance delighteth Jacob?

As if the blear eyes of thy aged sister could please him!

Wipe thou, o mother, thy flowing eyes!

How do furrows in thy cheeks become thee? –

‘Alas, alas, alas, why do ye accuse me of shedding tears in vain?

Since I am deprived of a son, who alone would care for my poverty: Who would not cede to my enemy the narrow bounds that Jacob acquired for me: Who too would benefit his stolid brothers, whom, to my sorrow, I have raised in their numbers.’ –

Surely he is not to be wept, who hath acquired a heavenly kingdom?

And who, with frequent prayer, helpeth his wretched brothers before God?


Richard L. Hewitt
Notker's Hymnbook in Three Languages

Kamuzu Academy, Malawi
2020 - 2022