O vision blest of heavenly light

O vision blest of heavenly light. Latin, 15th Century, translated by George Timms* (1910-1997).  This hymn on the Transfiguration was published in NEH (1986), where it took the place of the translation by Richard Ellis Roberts* in EH, which began ‘An image of that heavenly light’*. Timms, a frequent re-worker of earlier hymns, was chair of the committee that produced NEH; but there were good grounds, in addition to a natural preference for his own work, for preferring his translation over that of Roberts. The versions of the first stanza demonstrate this: in Roberts’s text, in addition to the archaic ‘ay’, the subject (‘Christ’) is awkwardly placed after the two attributes (‘an image’ and...

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