Senex puerum portabat

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General Information

Antiphon to the Magnificat at First Vespers for the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The first two lines also form the Alleluia verse to the Gradual for Mass of the same feast.


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Text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Senex puerum portabat:
puer autem senem regebat:
quem virgo peperit,
et post partum virgo permansit:
ipsum quem genuit, adoravit.

English.png English translation

An ancient held up an Infant,
but the Infant upheld the ancient.
A Child he was that a Virgin bore,
and kept her as Virgin evermore.
The one whom she brought forth, she did adore.
Translation by David Fraser

An old man carried the child,
yet the child ruled the old man.
Him whom the virgin had borne
- after which she remained for ever a virgin -
she herself worshipped.
Translation by Mick Swithinbank

The old man carried the child,
but the child ruled the old man;
him whom the Virgin brought forth,
and after childbirth remained a virgin
him whom she bore, she adored.

Translation by William Mahrt