Reflecting – more about the quoted poem The Stabat Mater

Here is the 13th century poem in full. Pergolesi has set it beautifully to music.

At the Cross her station keeping, stood the mournful Mother weeping, close to her son to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing, all His bitter anguish bearing, now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed was that Mother, highly blest, of the sole-begotten One.

Christ above in torment hangs, she beneath beholds the pangs of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep, whelmed in miseries so deep, Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain from partaking in her pain, in that Mother’s pain untold?

For the sins of His own nation, She saw Jesus wracked with torment, All with scourges rent:

She beheld her tender Child, Saw Him hang in desolation, Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love! Touch my spirit from above, make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt; make my soul to glow and melt with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through, in my heart each wound renew of my Savior crucified:

Let me share with thee His pain, who for all my sins was slain, who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee, mourning Him who mourned for me, all the days that I may live:

By the Cross with thee to stay, there with thee to weep and pray, is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!, Listen to my fond request: let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath, in my body bear the death of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound, steep my soul till it hath swooned, in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh, lest in flames I burn and die, in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence, by Thy Mother my defense, by Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays, may my soul Thy goodness praise, Safe in Paradise with Thee.

Translation by Edward Caswall Lyra Catholica (1849)

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