Hail, harbinger of Morn

Hail, harbinger of Morn. Bede* (673-735), translated by Charles Stuart Calverley* (1831-1884).  This ia a translation of Bede’s ‘Praecursor altus luminis’, his hymn for the birth of St John the Baptist, or St John the Baptist’s Day. Bede’s hymn follows the account in the Bible closely: as JJ puts it, ‘[His hymns] are full of Scripture, and Bede was very fond of introducing the actual words of Scripture as part of his own composition, and often with great effect’ (p. 125). Bede’s careful use of Scripture is paralleled in Calverley’s translation, which follows the narrative in Luke 1 closely. Verses 19 and 76 are found specifically in stanzas 2 and 4, but the whole story of the visit of...

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