SING, MY TONGUE, THE GLORIOUS BATTLE
Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle,
sing the last, the dread affray;
o’er the cross, the victor’s trophy,
sound the high triumphal lay:
how, the pains of death enduring,
earth’s redeemer won the day.
Faithful cross! above all other,
one and only noble tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peer may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
sweetest weight is hung on thee.
Bend, O lofty tree, thy branches,
thy too rigid sinews bend;
and awhile the stubborn hardness,
which thy birth bestowed, suspend;
and the limbs of heaven’s high monarch
gently on thine arms extend.
Thou alone wast counted worthy
this world’s ransom to sustain,
that by thee a wrecked creation
might its ark and haven gain,
with the sacred blood anointed
of the Lamb that hath been slain.
Praise and honour to the Father,
praise and honour to the Son,
praise and honour to the Spirit,
ever three and ever one,
one in might and one in glory,
while eternal ages run.
(Venantius Fortunatus 530-609 – Tr. John M. Neale 1818-1866)