Britten, Benjamin: A Hymn to the Virgin

A Hymn to the Virgin (1930/35)

Of one who is so fair and bright
Velut maris stella,
Brighter than the day is light,
Parens et puella:
I cry to thee, thou see to me,
Lady, pray thy Son for me,
Tam pia,
That I may come to thee.

All this world was forlorn,
Eva peccatrice,
Till our Lord was yborn,
De te genetrice.
With Ave it went away,
Darkest night, and comes the day
The well springeth out of thee.

Lady, flower of everything,
Rosa sine spina,
Thou bare Jesu, heaven’s king,
Gratia divina:
Of all thou bearest the prize,
Lady, queen of paradise
Maid mild, mother es

Words: Anonymous, c. 1300
Music: Benjamin Britten (1913–76)