Fortunatuss (Venantius) Hymns
Fortunatus's (Venantius) Hymns Fortunatus is the author of the following hymns: Vexilla Regis Prodeunt (q.v.), translated into English ("The royal banners forward go") by Neale, in Mediaeval Hynmns and Sequences (Lond. 1867), page 6: — Quem Terra, Pontus, AEthera (English translation, "The God whom earth and sea and sky," in Hymns Ancient and Modern): — Pange Lingua, Gloriosi (q.v.): — Crux Benedictd Nitet (the original is found in Trench, Sacred Latin Poetry, page 130 sq., and an English translation, "The blessed cross shines now to us," in Lyra Messianica, page 220 sq.): — Salve, Festa
Dies, toto Venerabilis Evo (q.v.): — Agnoscet Omne Saeculuum, on the nativity of Christ: — Tibi Laus Perennis Author, on baptism. "The poetry of Venantius Prudentius," says Mr. Yule (Dict. of Christ. Biog. s.v.), "represents the expiring effort of the Latin muse in Gaul. Even the poet himself felt the decadence not merely of language, but of thought, which characterizes his verse,
'Ast ego sensus inops . . . Faece gravis, sermone levis, ratione pigrescens, Mente hebes, arte carens, usu rudi, ore nec expers' (Vit. St. Martin, 5:26-28),
and it is difficult to dissent from the severe judgment he has passed upon himself. His style is pedantic, his taste bad, his grammar and prosody seldom correct for many lines together. Two of his longer poems, however, display a simplicity and pathos which are foreign to his usual style. One of these treats of the marriage of Galesuintha, sister of Brunehart, with Chilperic; the other is the elegy upon the fall of Thuringia. For what is of real merit in these two pieces we are in all probability indebted to the genius of Rhadegund rather than to any sudden access of inspiration in the poet himself." See Trench, Sacred Latin Poetry; Daniel, Thesaurus Hymnologicus, 1:16 sq.; Bormann, Ueber das Lebel des Lateinischen Dichters Fortunatus (Fulda, 1848), (B.P.).