O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

One of my favorite Christian songs is the Advent hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” and I was delighted some years ago to learn that it was originally in Latin.  Having learned Latin, I am still very fond of the familiar version we sing in church, but that translation (like all translations from verse into verse) necessarily adjusts the meaning to fix the meter.  So for Advent this year, I thought I would provide the hymn’s Latin words with a very literal translation into English prose, not to be sung, but so that the song may be better understood. The Latin text was taken, with minor adjustments of punctuation, from here. (more…)

A Taste of George Herbert

Good poetry is hard to find, because it’s even harder to write.  These days most verse is trite and sentimental doggerel, and much of the more creative stuff is emotionally self-destructive.  Yet there is good poetry out there, which can bring us closer to God.

George Herbert is one of the best poets in the English language, and one of the most famous of the Metaphysical Poets of the 17th C.  Here is one of his more famous poems (taken from ccel.org): (more…)