This forgotten lullaby to the Christ child was brought to a wider audience by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who found it in an old print in a German village inn in 1799. Douglas Cook's exquisite setting swells and dies in two-bar phrases, also rocking gently between major and minor tonalities.
Translation and pronunciation guide included.
Dormi, Jesu! Mater ridet Quae tam dulcem somnum videt. Dormi Jesu blandule. Si non dormis mater plorat Inter fila cantans orat. Blande, veni, somnule.
from a Dutch print published by Hieronmymus Wierix (1553-1619) in Jesu Christi Dei Domini Salvatoris nostra Infantia
Sleep, sweet babe! my cares beguiling: Mother sits beside thee smiling; Sleep, my darling, tenderly! If thou sleep not, mother mourneth, Singing as her wheel she turneth: Come, soft slumber, balmily!
English rendering by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Sleep, Jesus! Mother smiles who sees such sweet sleep. Sleep Jesus, gentle one. If you do not sleep, your mother weeps, prays, singing, among her threads. Come, sweet sleep.
literal translation by Canasg editors
Purchase – 4068: The virgin's cradle hymn (SAA)
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