Quam Dilecta Tabernacula

Quam dilecta Tabernacula is the beginning of a prose of Adam of St.Victor (d. about 1192) for the dedication of a church. "This hymn," says Mr. Trench, "of which the theme is, the dignities and glories of the Church, as prefigured in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New, is the very extravagance of typical application, and were it only as a study in mediaeval typology, would be worthy of insertion; but it has other and higher merits, even though it must be owned rather that the poet's learned stuff masters him, than that he is able effectually to master it. Its title indicates that it was composed for the occasion of a church's dedication, the services of which time were ever laid out for the carrying of men's thoughts from the temple made with hands to that spiritual temple, on earth or in heaven, ' whose builder and maker is God."' We subjoin the first verse:

"Quam dilecta tabernacula Domini virtutum et atria! Quam electi architecti, Tuta aedificia, Quae non movent, immo fovent, Venius, flumen, pluvia!"

There are two English translations of this prose, one by W. B. Flower, in Lyra Mystica (, p. 211 sq. — "How loved thy halls and dwelling-place" — and the other by Neale, in his Mediaeval Hymns, p. 146 sq., with explanatory notes. A third translation, but only of the last stanzas, is given by Mr. Bonar in the Sunday at Home (Jan. 1878), which, for their beauty, we subjoin:

"Future things in figure shadowed This our day of grace displays! on the couch with our beloved here we rest, and sing, and praise, Now the bridal day has come!

"Days of which the silver trumpets Of the ancient feasts first told; Day of days, whose promised glory Israel's holy psalms unfold, Giving voice to solemn sound.

"Thousand, thousand are the praises To the Bridegroom which they raise; With one voice in triumph singing Through the everlasting days, Hallelujah, without end."

See Trench, Sacred Latin Poetry, p. 227 sq.; Mone, Hymni Latini, i, 316; Koch, Geschichte des deutschen Kirchenliedes, i, 109. (B. P.)

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