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Fathers Of The Church, Catholic Edition



Bridle of colts untamed,

Over our wills presiding;

Wing of unwandering birds,

Our flight securely guiding.

Rudder of youth unbending,

Firm against adverse shock;

Shepherd, with wisdom tending

Lambs of the royal flock:

Thy simple children bring

In one, that they may sing

In solemn lays

Their hymns of praise

With guileless lips to Christ their King.


King of saints, almighty Word

Of the Father highest Lord;

Wisdom’s head and chief;

Assuagement of all grief;

Lord of all time and space,

Jesus, Saviour of our race;

Shepherd, who dost us keep;

Husbandman, who tillest,

Bit to restrain us, Rudder

To guide us as Thou willest;

Of the all-holy flock celestial wing;

Fisher of men, whom Thou to life dost bring;

From evil sea of sin,

And from the billowy strife,

Gathering pure fishes in,

Caught with sweet bait of life:

Lead us, Shepherd of the sheep,

Reason-gifted, holy One;

King of youths, whom Thou dost keep,

So that they pollution shun:

Steps of Christ, celestial Way;

Word eternal, Age unending;

Life that never can decay;

Fount of mercy, virtue-sending;

Life august of those who raise

Unto God their hymn of praise,

Jesus Christ!


Nourished by the milk of heaven,

To our tender palates given;

Milk of wisdom from the breast

Of that bride of grace exprest;

By a dewy spirit filled

From fair Reason’s breast distilled;

Let us sucklings join to raise

With pure lips our hymns of praise

As our grateful offering,

Clean and pure, to Christ our King.

Let us, with hearts undefiled,

Celebrate the mighty Child.

We, Christ-born, the choir of peace;

We, the people of His love,

Let us sing, nor ever cease,

To the God of peace above.

We subjoin the following literal translation of the foregoing hymn:—

Bridle of untamed colts, Wing of unwandering birds, sure Helm of babes, Shepherd of royal lambs, assemble Thy simple children to praise holily, to hymn guilelessly with innocent mouths, Christ the guide of children. O King of saints, all-subduing Word of the most high Father, Ruler of wisdom, Support of sorrows, that rejoicest in the ages, Jesus, Saviour of the human race, Shepherd, Husbandman, Helm, Bridle, Heavenly Wing of the all-holy flock, Fisher of men who are saved, catching the chaste fishes with sweet life from the hateful wave of a sea of vices,—Guide [us], Shepherd of rational sheep; guide unharmed children, O holy King, O footsteps of Christ, O heavenly way, perennial Word, immeasurable Age, Eternal Light, Fount of mercy, performer of virtue; noble [is the] life of those who hymn God, O Christ Jesus, heavenly milk of the sweet breasts of the graces of the Bride, pressed out of Thy wisdom. Babes nourished with tender mouths, filled with the dewy spirit of the rational pap, let us sing together simple praises, true hymns to Christ [our] King, holy fee for the teaching of life; let us sing in simplicity the powerful Child. O choir of peace, the Christ-begotten, O chaste people, let us sing together the God of peace.

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