Veni, Redemptor Gentium
Veni, Redemptor Gentium (Come, Redeemer of the nations), is the beginning of the famous Advent hymn written by St. Ambrose. It is "the best of the Ambrosian hymns, full of faith, rugged vigor, austere simplicity, and bold contrasts." The German hymnbook is indebted to this immortal hymn of St. Ambrose for one of its choicest treasures: namely, John Frank's Advent hymn, commencing—
"Komm, Heidenheiland Lösegeld Komm, schiinste Sonne dieser Welt, Lass abwarts flammen deineu Schein, Denn so will Gott geboren sein."
"It is not a translation," says Trench, but" a free recomposition of the original, beside which it is well-nigh worthy to stand." The first lines of the original run thus:
"Veni, Redemptor genltium, Ostende partum Virginis; Miretur omne saeculum: Talis decet partus Deum. Non ex virili semiue, Sed mystico spiramine, Verbum Dei factum est caro, Fructusque ventris floruit," etc.
It has been translated into English by Mrs. Charles Neale and others. The latest is that of Dr. R. Palmer, and given in Schaff's Christ in Song:
"O thou Redeemer of our race! Come, show the Virgin's Son to earth; Let every age admire the grace; Worthy a God thy human birth! 'Twas by no mortal will or aid, But by the Holy Spirit's might, That flesh the Word of God was made A babe yet waiting for the light," etc.
It was also translated into German as early as the 15th century. It became better known through Luther's translation, Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (Eng. transl. in Pick, Luther as a Hymnist). It is also found in the collections of Latin and German hymns of Bassler, Simrock, Kohigsfeld, and others. (B. P.)