A hymn in dactylic tetrameter

Here is an ecclesiastical poem I wrote in Latin, along with the English translation.

It’s in a meter called dactylic tetrameter– a dactyl is a metrical foot consisting of a long syllable followed by two short, and tetrameter of course means that there are four such feet. It is possible, at the author’s discretion, for the second foot to be a spondee (two long syllables) instead of a dactyl, and the fourth foot is always a spondee. So the name “dactylic tetrameter” isn’t 100% accurate but it’s close enough.

My poetry is admittedly clumsy and it fudges on the metrical rules in a couple of places. But I did my best and I hope that any Latin scholar who may happen to read this can enjoy it.

Here it is as a .pdf.

The font used in the .pdf for the Latin text is Cinzel Regular, which is very close in appearance to actual ancient Roman engravings (such as this one–a transcript of a speech engraved in bronze). Cinzel is in the public domain and is therefore available for free. You can download it here.

If you can’t open the .pdf for some reason, here’s the poem in plain text format.

A hymn in dactylic tetrameter

Solvm adoro te Christe Iese

Sit tibi Gloria Avctoritasqve

Nascis et adolevis deo cvm

Deinde mortvvs es sine amico

deinde vicis bvstvm et mortem            5

Tertia resvrrexis avrora

beatetvr nomen domini sic

Ecce devm Æternvm amoris

Qvi venit terram ad servit et sed

ipso Popvlo repvdiatvs est                10

nvnc tamen est maior qvam angelos qvi

beatetvr Nomen dei ergo

qvi fvit atqve est erit atqve

veterem promissvm non fefellis

sed popvlvm tvvm liberavis                15

peccato ex tvlis sacro illo

et habitas nvnc dextra parentis

angelos iam cantent tibi lavdem

Cantemvs ad cÆlvm ibimvs post

Qvo erimvs die certo Beati                20

Et Deo gloria omnis sit magno

O Agnvs perfecti perfectvs Dei

Mox veni Veni mox  Amen

I worship you alone, Christ Jesus.

To you may the glory and power be.

You were born and grew with God.

Then you died without a friend.

Then you conquered the grave and death.

You rose on the third morning.

Thus blessed be the name of the Lord.

Behold the eternal God of love

who came to Earth and served Earth but

was rejected by His own people—

but who is now greater than the angels.

Therefore blessed be the name of God,

who was and is and shall be.

You broke not your ancient promise,

but saved your people.

You carried them out of sin by that sacrifice

And now you dwell at the Father’s right hand.

The angels already sing your praise.

Let us sing after we go to Heaven.

On that day we shall surely be happy.

And may all the glory be for mighty God.

O perfect Lamb of the perfect God,

Come quickly. Quickly come. Amen.


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