Psychomachia Invocation

This is the bit where the classical tradition invokes the Muses. Prudentius invokes Someone else, of course!

Translation by Maureen O’Brien, 1/7/08

Christ, You always kindly gaze upon the heavy cares of man,
Whom You cleanse with power both Paternal and Your Own, but One —
One the God we worship under one Name or the other,
yet not alone, Christ, because You are God out of the Father.

Explain to us, Commander, how to drive faults from a soldier.

The mind can arm and armor us. Out of the chest’s deep cavern,
it sallies forth whenever self-sedition muddies senses,
and inner conflict saps the sickened soul. Then the defender
will watch within our breasts for any stirred up fury’s blade edge;
it parries with a better skill. Precisely so, good Leader:
You have not bereft the weak-nerved of the mighty Virtues,
nor left Christworshippers behind for ravaging by Vices.

Call for a cavalry troop, a relief force;
Fight Your way through into the besieged body.
Build a siege engine of excellent devising
to storm through the sarcasm-taunts of the heart.
May it be potent to battle attackers
for You, and to conquer for You.

The winning plan’s present, if while they’re at hand
it’s permitted to write down what’s been pointed out —
the Virtues’ appearances and their fight versus
unfriendly forces.

1 Comment

Filed under Church, Translations

One response to “Psychomachia Invocation

  1. This is lovely stuff – as a classicist turned theologian it is music to my soul.

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