Ephrem’s Anti-Heresy Alphabet Hymn

Roger Pearse commissioned a translation from Syriac of St. Ephrem’s hymn against the heresies, from a gentleman and scholar by the name of Adam MacCollum. It’s pretty darned cool.

So now, as part of my ongoing quest to versify everything, I present my totally non-literary, non-scholarly, MacCollum-derived verse translation of the first three alphabet verses!

As the alphabet
Is complete and done,
With no letter lacking
Nor adding one,
So the Truth is set
In the Gospel, yes.
Like the alphabet
No more, no less,
It is perfect yet.

Blessed be Your image in the alphabet!

Because Marcion
Added falsehood on,
The Church threw him out,
And now he is gone.
Valentinus told it wrong,
The Quqite twisted words,
Bardaisan lied in song,
Mani manically absurd:
Thistles and thorns
Bundled up to burn.
May good God in mercy turn
Them from straying in our corn!

Blessed be the One the wicked can’t worry and warn!

Greedy Valentinus stole Church sheep
And gave them all his name.
The Quqite and clever Bardaisan
Were next to do the same.
Then they combined their flocks;
Marcion kept his apart;
Crazy Mani grabbed a part.
They bit each other, rabid crocks,
And self-named all their sheep.

Blessed be the One who threw them out of His house for keeps!

Heh… yeah, not exactly a hymn as we think of it. More like a sermon in song form. (Ephrem and Bardaisan did the duelling songwriter thing.)

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Ephrem’s Anti-Heresy Alphabet Hymn

  1. AgnesRegina

    LOVE it. Please keep going! I’d love to see the whole thing!

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