Hymns of the Eastern Church, by J.M. Neale, , at sacred-texts.com
A.D. 631 . . . A D 734.
S. Germanus of Constantinople was born in that city about 634. His father, Justinian, a patrician, had the ill-fortune to excite the jealousy of the Emperor Constantine Pogonatus, who put him to death, and obliged Germanus to enrol himself among the Clergy of the Great Church. Here he became distinguished for piety and learning, and in process of time was made Bishop of Cyzicus. In this capacity he assisted, with S. Andrew of Crete, in the Synod of Constantinople of which I have just spoken: and no doubt, he might be the more favourably disposed to Monothelitism, because he had been so deeply injured by its great opponent, Pogonatus. However, he also,
at a late period, expressly condemned that heresy. Translated to the throne of Constantinople in 715, he governed his Patriarchate for some time in tranquillity. At the beginning of the attack of Leo the Isaurian on Icons, his letters, in opposition to the Imperial mandate, were the first warnings which the Church received of the impending storm. Refusing to sign the decrees of the Synod which was convoked by that Emperor in A.D. 730, and stripping off his Patriarchal robes, with the words—"It is impossible for me, Sire, to innovate, without the sanction of the Œcumenical Council," he was driven from his See, not, it is said, without blows, and returned to his own house at Platanias, where he thenceforth led a quiet and private life. He died shortly afterwards, aged about one hundred years, and is regarded by the Greeks as one of their most glorious Confessors.
The poetical compositions of S. Germanus are few.
He has stanzas on S. Simeon Stylites, on the Prophet Elias, and on the Decollation of S. John Baptist. His most poetical work is perhaps his Canon on the Wonder-working Image in Edessa. But probably the following simpler stanzas, for Sunday in the Week of the First Tone, will better commend themselves to the English reader.
By fruit, the ancient Foe's device
Drave Adam forth from Paradise:
Christ, by the cross of shame and pain,
Brought back the dying Thief again:
"When in Thy kingdom, Lord," said he,
"Thou shalt return, remember me!"
Thy Holy Passion we adore
And Resurrection evermore: p. 88
With heart and voice to Thee on high,
As Adam and the Thief we cry:
"When in Thy kingdom Thou shalt be
"Victor o’er all things, think of me!"
Thou, after three appointed days,
Thy Body's Temple didst upraise:
And Adam's children, one and all,
With Adam, to New Life didst call:
"When Thou," they cry, "shalt Victor be
"In that Thy kingdom, think of me!"
Early, O Christ, to find Thy Tomb,
The weeping Ointment-bearers come:
The Angel, cloth’d in white, hath said,
"Why seek the Living with the dead?
"The Lord of Life hath burst death's chain,
"Whom here ye mourn and seek in vain."
The Apostles, on Thy Vision bent,
To that appointed mountain went: p. 89
And there they worship when they see,
And there the message comes from Thee,
That every race beneath the skies
They should disciple and baptize.
We praise the Father, God on High,
The Holy Son we magnify:
Nor less our praises shall adore
The Holy Ghost for evermore;
This grace, Blest Trinity, we crave;
Thy suppliant servants hear and save.