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Hymns of the Eastern Church, by J.M. Neale, [1884], at

p. 184


by Theodore of the Studium

The first Sunday in Lent is kept in memory: primarily, of the final triumph of the Church over the Iconoclasts in 842; and, incidentally, of her victory over all other heresies. It has a kind of comminution appropriate to itself alone. The fallowing Canon is ascribed to S. Theodore of the Studium, though Baronius has thought that it cannot be his, because it implies that peace was restored to the Church, whereas that hymnographer died while the persecution still continued. Very possibly, however, it was written en the temporary victory of the Church, which did occur in the time of S. Theodore; and then, in 842, may have been lengthened and adapted to

p. 185

the then state of things, perhaps by Naucratius, the favourite disciple of S. Theodore. It is, perhaps, the most spirited of all the Canons, though many of its expressions savour too much of bitterness and personal feeling to be well defended, and the reader must constantly bear in mind that the poet feels the cause, not so much of Icons, as of the Incarnation itself, to be at stake. I have only given about one-third of the poem. The stanzas are these: Ode I. Tropar. I, 2; III. 6; IV. 1, 2, 3; V. 1, 3, 4, 5; VI. 1; IX. 2, 3, 4, 5.

Χαριστήριον ᾠδήν.

A song, a song of gladness!
  A song of thanks and praise
The horn of our salvation
Hath God vouchsafed to raise! p. 186
A monarch true and faithful,
And glorious in her might,
To champion Christ's own quarrel,
  And Orthodoxy's right!

Now manifest is glory;
  Now grace and virtue shine:
Now joys the Church regaining
  Her ornaments divine:
And girds them on in gladness,
  As fits a festal day,
After long months of struggle,
  Long years of disarray.

Now cries the blood for vengeance,
  By persecutors poured,
Of them that died defending
  The likeness of the Lord: p. 187
The likeness, as a mortal
  That He vouchsaf’d to take,
Long years ago, in Bethlem,
  Incarnate for our sake.

Awake, O Church, and triumph
  Exult, each realm and land!
And open let the houses,
  The ascetic houses stand!
And let the holy virgins
  With joy and song take in
Their relics and their Icons,
  Who died this day to win!

Assemble ye together
  So joyous and so bold,
The ascetic troops, and pen them
  Once more within the fold! p. 188
If strength again he gather, *
  Again the foe shall fall:
If counsel he shall counsel,
  Our God shall scatter all.

The Lord, the Lord hath triumphed:
  Let all the world rejoice!
Hush’d is the turmoil, silent
  His servants’ tearful voice: p. 189
And the One Faith, the True Faith,
  Goes forth from East to West,
Enfolding, in its beauty,
  The earth as with a vest.

They rise, the sleepless watchmen
  Upon the Church's wall;
With yearning supplication
  On God the Lord they call:
And He, though long time silent,
  Bow'd down a gracious ear,
His people's earnest crying
  And long complaint to hear.

Sing, sing for joy, each desert!
  Exult, each realm of earth
Ye mountains, drop down sweetness!
  Ye hillocks, leap for mirth! p. 190
For Christ the Word, bestowing
  His blessed peace on men,
In Faith's most holy union
  Hath knit His Church again.

The God of vengeance rises:
  And Christ attacks the foe,
And makes His servants mighty
  The wicked to o’erthrow:
And now Thy condescension
  In boldness may we hymn,
And now in peace and safety
  Thy sacred Image limn.

O Lord of loving kindness,
  How wondrous are Thy ways!
What tongue of man suffices
  Thy gentleness to praise? p. 191
Because of Thy dear Image
  Men dared Thy Saints to kill,
Yet didst Thou not consume them,
  But bear’st their insults still.

Thou Who has fixed unshaken
  Thy Church's mighty frame,
So that hell-gates shall never
  Prevail against the same;—
Bestow upon Thy people
  Thy peace, that we may bring
One voice, one hymn, one spirit,
  To glorify our King!


188:* This is from the magnificent Emmanuel Ode sung at Great Compline on high festivals.

"Having become mighty, ye have been subdued.
        "For God is with us.

"And if ye shall again become mighty, again ye shall be subdued.
        "For God is with us.

"And if ye shall devise any device, the
    Lord shall scatter it,
        "For God is with us."

Next: S. Methodius I. Idiomela for a Sunday of the Fourth Tone