O Sweetest Lover

O sweetest lover, sweetest hugger,
help us keep our virginity.
We rise from dust—
Alas, alas, from Adam's guilt.
How very hard to hold out against
Whatever tastes of the Apple;
thou, savior Christ, set us aright.
Ardently we long to follow thee.
O what a struggle it is for us, the wretched ones,
to imitate the king of angels,
spotless, innocent.
Still, we trust in thee—
that thou wouldst find again the jewel in the filth.
Now do we call upon thee, spouse and comforter,
who redeemed us on the cross.
In thy blood we couple with thee
in betrothal, refusing a husband
and choosing thee, Son of God.
O most beautiful figure,
O sweetest smell of longed-for delights,
always do we sigh for thee in tearful exile.
When shall we see thee
and stay with thee?
We are in the world,
and thou in our mind,
and we hug thee to our heart
as thou wert here with us.
Thou, mightiest lion, tore open the sky,
descending to the Virgin's vestibule,
and destroyed death,
building life in the Golden City.
Give us fellowship in that city
and rest with thee,
O sweetest spouse,
who dragged us from the jaws of the devil,
our ancient ancestor's debaucher.

-- Translated by Thomas Cahill

Dulcissime amator, o dulcissime amplexator:
adiuva nos custodire virginitatem nostram.
Nos sumus orti in pulvere—
heu, heu, et in crimine Adam;
valde durum est contradicere
quod habet gustus Pomi;
tu erige nos, salvator Christe.
Nos desideramus ardenter te sequi
O quam grave nobis miseris est
te immaculatum et innocentem
regem angelorum imitari..
Tamen confidimus in te—
quod tu desires gemmam requirere in putredine.
Nunc advocamus te, sponsum et consolatorem,
qui nos redimisti in cruce.
In tuo sanguine copulate sumus tibi
cum desponsatione, repudiantes virum
et eligentes te, Filium Dei.
O pulcherrima forma,
o suavissimus odor desiderabilium deliciarum,
semper suspiramus post te in lacrimabili exilio.
Quando te videamus
et tecum maneamus?
Nos sumus in mundo
et tu in mente nostra,
et amplectimur te in corde
quasi habeamus te presentem.
Tu fortissimus leo rupisti celum
descendens in aulam Virginis,
et destruxisti mortem
edificans vitam in aurea civitate.
Da nobis societatem cum illa
et permanere in te,
o dulcissime sponse,
qui abstraxisti nos de faucibus diaboli
primum parentem nostrum seducentis.<I>

--Hildegard's original Latin
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