Latinised Hymns

From Greenland's icy mountains

From Greenland's icy mountains,
From India's coral strand,
Where Afric's sunny fountains
Roll down the golden sand,
From many an ancient river,
From many a palmy plain,
They call us to deliver
Their land from error's chain.

What though the spicy breezes
Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle,
Though every prospect pleases
And only man is vile:
In vain with lavish kindness
The gifts of God are strown;
The heathen in his blindness
Bows down to wood and stone.

Can we, whose souls are lighted
With wisdom from on high,
Can we to men benighted
The lamp of life deny?
Salvation! O Salvation!
The joyful sound proclaim,
Till each remotest nation
Has learned Messiah's name.

Waft, waft, ye winds, his story,
And you, ye waters, roll,
Till, like a sea of glory,
It spreads from pole to pole;
Till o'er our ransomed nature
The Lamb for sinners slain,
Redeemer, King, Creator,
In bliss returns to reign.

Bishop Heber

Septentrionis montes
et litus Indicum
flavumque circa fontes
Afros effluvium
palmetaque et annosa
per orbem flumina
nos invocant perosa
erroris vincula.

En! Tura circumvectat
Taprobanen Notus;
omne aliud delectat,
modo est homo malus.
Frustra Divina manus
pagano dona dat,
dum numen is paganus
materiam putat.

Nobisne illuminatis
caelesti gratia
placebit obscuratis
negare lampada?
Salvatio clametur,
laetabilis sonus, *
dum Christus agnoscetur
extremis gentibus.

Famam differte venti,
et unda provehat,
ut magno par torrenti
inter polos eat,
dum Agnus poenae lator,
qui nobis periit,
Redemptor, Rex, Creator,
regnare coeperit.

MM 16–21.5.97

* v.1. eatque nuntius