Stella Splendens

Listen to the traditional medieval song Stella Splendens while reading this poem. Click here and the music will open in a separate window so you can come back here.

Edward G. Nilges, “After Charles Rude, Jeanne d’Arc Ecoutant sa Voix, Louvre”, June 2008, pencil on paper transformed into computer image using Gimp and Microsoft Office Picture Manager

Five notes is all we manage
Five notes is what we know
Our lives is mostly damage
Ice and rain and early snow.

Our dances are simple patterns
There’s nowt to what we would aspire
We cannot read romances
A crust of bread and a seat by fire

Thy King went forth to Normandy
With gracious might of chivalry
But he came home to dysentery
The Boy we never again did see

You took our Mother from us
And put her son upon the cross
We accept because we must
Your gain is generally, our loss.

Our children die mostly in the morning
Twixt the turning and the tide

But still, we celebrate Christ’s borning
Silly, holy, sanctified.

Outside your soldiers ride
Man is a wolf to man
But who was the gentleman
When Adam delved and Eva span?

Edward G. Nilges 13 Sep 2010

Jordi Savall, Film Still

Stella splendens in monte
ut solis radium
miraculis serrato
exaudi populum
cuncurrunt universi
gaudentes populi
divites et egeni
grandes et paruli
ipsum ingredientur
ut cernunt occuli
et inde reventuntur
hic ave Maria

Trad.

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