Damian (Damianus, or Damiani, Petrus), Hymns of
Damian (Damianus, Or Damiani, Petrus), Hymns Of Of these the following have become especially known: Gravi me terrore pulsas, vita dies ultima. "This awful hymn," says Mr. Neale," is the dies irae of individual life. The realization of the hour of death is shown, not only by this hymn, but by the commendatory prayer, used from his (the author's) time in the Roman Church, which begins, 'To God I commend thee, beloved brother; and to him whose creature thou art I commit thee." In the translation of Mr. Neale the first stanza runs thus:
"O what terror in thy forethought, Ending scene of mortal life! Heart is sickened, veins are loosened, Thrills each nerve, with terror rife, When the anxious heart depicteth All the anguish of the strife!"
Another translation, given by P.S. Worsley, in Lyra Messianica, runs thus:
"Heavily with dread thou loomest, last day of my earthly life: Heart and melting veins within me shudder at the mortal strife, When I would inform my spirit with what horrors thou art rife."
Another hymn is his Crux nundi benedictio, which Mr. Neale rendered —
"O Cross, whereby the earth is blest, Certain Redemption, Hope, and Rest, Once as the Tree of Torture known, Now the bright gate to Jesu's Throne."
Better known is his Ad perennis vitas fontemn, "the noblest he has left us," and which, in R.F. Littledale's translation in Lyra Mystica, reads thus:
"For the fount of life eternal is my thirsting spirit fain, And my prisoned soul would gladly burst her fleshly bars in twain! While the exile strives and struggles on to win her. home again."
See Trench, Sacred Latin Poetry; page 277 sq., 315 sq.; Rambach, Anthologie christlicher Gesnage, pages 288, 241; Daniel, Thesaurus Hymnologicus, 1:116, 224; 4:291; Mone, Hymni Lat. Med. AEvi, 1:422; Neale, Mediaeval Hymns, page 52 sq. (B.P.)