Altus Prosator “D”

Saint Augustin, De Civitate Dei traduction en français par Raoul de Presles (livre XI-XXII); Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des Manuscrits, Français 22913, fol. 26r.
Saint Augustin, De Civitate Dei traduction en français par Raoul de Presles (livre XI-XXII); Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des Manuscrits, Français 22913, fol. 26r.

CAPITULUM D

TITLE: De ruina Diaboli, i.e. De mutatione nominis Luciferi in Draconem.
ARGUMENT: ‘Ecce Draco Rufus habens capita septem, et cornua
decem, et cauda ejus traxit secum tertiam partem siderum vel
stellarum.’
–(Apoc. xii. 3.)

Draco magnus deterrimus
terribilis et antiquus
qui fuit serpens lubricus
sapientior omnibus
bestiis et animantibus
terrae feracioribus
tertiam partem siderum
traxit secum in barathrum
locorum infernalium
diversorumque carcerum
refuga veri luminis
parasito praecipites.

STANZA D

The old Dragon, loathliest, fiercest,
Serpent shrewdest in all guile
And more dread than all the creatures
That devour man or defile,
Down with him drew headlong–falling
From the heavenly spaces far
Of the highest constellations–
All the third part, star by star,
Headlong–to the depths infernal,
All the diverse cells of night:
Headlong fell each doomed apostate
From the Paradise of light.

— The Hiberno-Latin abecedarian hymn, Altus prosator, a sequence attributed to St. Columba, from Lays of Iona and Other Poems; English paraphrase by Samuel John Stone.

Author: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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