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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Lament of the exiled Adam and his sons


Excidit e paradiso voluptatis Adamus,
Domini praeceptum,
amaro cibo intemperanter degustato,
damnatusque fuit terrae
Unde desumptus fuerat colendae,
Suoque panni per sudorem multum comendendo;
Nos igitur temperantiam appertamus,
Ne velut ille extra paradisum ploremus,
Sed intus admittamur. ...

Because he broke the commandment of his Lord,
and was led by intemperance to taste a food
which was to be one of bitterness to him,
Adam was banished from the paradise of delight,
and condemned to till the earth
whence he himself was taken,
and to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow.
Let us, therefore, covet temperance,
lest we, like him, we may have to weep out of paradise;
let us be temperate and enter heaven.

God, my Creator, took dust from the earth,
quickened me with a living soul,
graciously made me the king

of all visible things on earth,
and gave me fellowship with the angels;
but crafty Satan,

making the serpent his instrument,
allured me with food,
banished me far from the glory of God,
and made me a slave to death in the bowels of the earth:
but Thou, O God, art my Lord, and full of mercy:
Recall me from exile.

Being deceived by the craft of the enemy,
I, miserable man,
violated Thy commandment, O Lord;
and being stripped of the garment
which Thy divine hand had woven for me,
I am now clad in the leaves of the fig-tree,

and with a skin garment;
I am condemned to eat a bread

for which I must toil with the sweat of my brow
and the earth is cursed,

so that it may yield me thorns and thistles:
But do Thou,

that in after-times tookest flesh from the Virgin,
recall and restore me to paradise.

O paradise! Most worthy of all our reverence,
beautiful beyond measure, tabernacle built by God,
joy and delight without end,

glory of the prophets, and dwelling of the saints;
may thy prayers, the sound of thy leaves,
obtain for me from the Creator of all things,
that thy gates, which my sin hath shut against me,
may be thrown open to me,
and that I may be made worthy

to partake of the tree of life,
and of that joy

which I once so sweetly tasted in thy bosom.

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