O Parve Vice Bethlehem

"O Little Town of Bethlehem" is another very popular English carol, and I've found three different translations into Latin online. The English carol dates back to the year 1868, and you can find the lyrics, MIDI files and sheet music at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website. There is also a Wikipedia article about this carol.

The author of the carol, Phillips Brooks, actually traveled to Palestine, and was in Bethlehem during Christmas week in 1865, although he did not compose the carol until 1868.

I found three different Latin versions on line, and I've put my favorite one first! Note that the third version translates only the first two stanzas of the carol.

Version 1. Translated by Arthur Harold Weston.

O parve vice Bethlehem
quam tacitus iaces!
Super somnum stellae tuum
volvuntur silentes.
Sed noctis in tenebris
aeterna lux splendet.
Iam temporum spes omnium
curaqu(e) in te manet.

Nam Christus ex Maria
natus, et in caelo
sunt congressi nunc angeli
amore cum pio.
O stellae matutinae,
cantate caelitus!
Deo laudes sint insignes,
et pax hominibus.

Quam tacite, quam tacite,
mirum datur donum.
Sic dat Deus mortalibus
ex caelo gaudium.
Cum venit, non auditur,
sed in mundi culpis,
ub(i) animae volunt bonae,
intrat Christus nobis.

O sancte puer Bethlehem,
oramus: venias!
Fac animos nobis castos
puras fac et vitas.
Nunc angelos audimus
qui iubilant laeti.
Cum omnibus O mansurus
Emmanuel, veni!


Version 2. Translated by J.C. Robertson.

O urbs pusilla Bethlehem,
quam placide dormis,
sopore alto obruta
tranquillis sub astris.
At has per vias caecas
lux splendet aeterna;
curarum adest hominum
levamen, spes nostra.

Nam Christum modo genitum
mirantes, angeli
de nocte supra vigilant
amore exciti.
O stellae matutinae,
tam miram propter rem
nunc laudes Deo canite,
hominibus pacem.

Quam tacite demittitur
mirificum munus!
Sic sua beneficia
confert in nos Deus.
Perceptus nullo sensu,
nec spernens improbos,
libenter Christus supplices
invisit animos.

O sancte Iesu, et ad nos
descende hodie;
purgata nostra pectora
in, precamur, te.
Audimus illa laeta
canentes angelos:
Renascere, Emmanuel,
maneque apud nos.


Version 3. Translated by Margaret Older.

O parve vice Bethlehem,
quam tacite dormis,
et spectant alta sidera
de caeruleis caelis.
Sed in obscuris viis
tu hodie tenes,
aeterna luce fulgente,
annorum omnes spes!

Nam Iesus Christus natus est
et laeti angeli
infantem sanctum mirantur
dum dormiunt pop'li.
O stellae, conclamate
nostrum redemptorem,
atque laudes Deo regi,
mortalibus pacem!


Version 4. Unattributed, online at this Kealing.org website.

O parve vice Bethlehem,
en tacent omnia!
Te super dormientem hic
labuntur sidera.
Per vias lux adfulget
aeterna, splendide
aevorum spes et timores
conveniunt in te.





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