I. Stabat mater dolorosa
Stabat mater dolorosa
Juxta crucem lacrimosa
Dum pendebat Filius
Cujus animam gementem
Contristantem et dolentem
II. O quam tristis et afflicta
O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa benedicta
Quae maerabat et dolebat
Pia mater, dum videbat
Nati peonas incliti.
Et tremetat dum videbat
Nati poenas incliti.
III. And there – his violin!
His chair at the table, empty,
His home clothes hanging in rows forlorn,
His cricket bat and cap, his riding cane,
The new flannel suit he had not worn,
His dogs, restless, restless, with tortured ears
Listening for his swift, light tread upon the path.
And there – his violin! Oh his violin!
Hush, hold your tears.
from: Killed in Action
Juliette de Bairacli-Levi; from British Women s Poetry
IV. Quis est homo qui non fleret
Quis est homo qui non fleret.
Matrem Christi si videret
In tanto supplico?
Quis non potest contristari,
Christi Matrem contemplari
Dolentum cum Filio?
V. Prayer for the Little Daughter (I)
Now you are standing face to face with the clear light
believe in it
Now you have gone back into where air comes from
hold fast to it
Now you have climbed to the top of the topless tower
and there are no stairs down
and the only way is flight past the edge of the world
do not remember us.
Like the new moon in the sky of the shortest day
you came to us
as the candles burnt with a steady light behind misty
you whispered to us
as the singers moved behind doors of unatainable rooms
you burst in on us
Lady of the shortest day, silent upon the threshold
carrying green branches.
Prayer for the little Daughter
between Death and Burial Diana Scott
VI. Eia mater, fons amoris
Eia mater, fons amoris,
Me sentire vim doloris
Fac, ut tecum lugeam.
Fac ut ardeat cor meum
In amando Christum Deum,
Ut sibi complaceum.
VII. Prayer for the Little Daughter (II)
Lady of the crown of light going into clear light
be safe on your journey
Bright Lady of the dark day, who pushed back the darkness
say nothing to us as we plod through the frozen field
going from somewhere to somewhere do not speak to us
as we stand at the centre of the frozen lake
and the trees of cloud stand over us forget us.
When we come to you we shall find you
who have seen Persephone
you whom our mothers called Lady of the city
will welcome us with tapers, and believe in us
When small harsh birds bubble and pump in our nude trees
and water will rush and gush through the slippery street
and two skies will look at each other
one of air and one below of water
you will rest with us, and of us:
Lady of the shortest day
watch over our daughter
whom we now commit to the grass.
VIII. Stabat mater, rubens rosa
Stabat mater, rubens rosa,
Juxta crucem lacrimosa,
Videns ferre criminosa
Nullum reum crimine.
Et dum stetit generosa dolorosa,
Plebs tunc canit clamorosa:
IX. The dead steep so cold around me
The dead steep so cold around me
My underpinnings numb
It s hard to keep my footing
But a fall
Fast entombs me
Within the solid wall
Of their now upright and frozen number
Whose thick ice
Thins out hue
Even your ardent hand
Lacks the heat
To blast through
Only the strangers bland
Do you have any children?
Is torch enough
To reach me.
The Dead Steep
Charlotte Mayerson, whose son Robert Mayerson died Jan.2, 1990 of AIDS.
X. O quam gravis illa poena Tibi
O quam gravis illa poena Tibi,
Virgo poenae plena
Jam versa in maestitiami.
Color erat non inventus
In te, mater, dum dementus
Stabat natus, sic contentus
Ad debellandum Sathanum.
XI. Per haec, nata praemata
Per haec, nata praemata,
Natum tuum, qui peccata
Delet cuncta perpetrata,
Ut, nostra tergens, ingrata.
In nobis plantet firme grata,
Per quem dando praelibata
Praestet aeterna requie. Amen.