Thursday, 9 February 2017

Saint Columba's Hymn to Saint Brigid

We conclude the series of posts on Saint Brigid on the octave day of her feast with a hymn attributed to her fellow-patron, Saint Colum Cille. He enjoyed a reputation as a prolific writer, as the compiler of the 'authoritative sources' tells us:



Saint Columba was passionately fond of books and learning in all its branches. He himself, we are told, copied out many hundreds of verses and also wrote poems himself, one of the latter being the following hymn on Saint Brigid, for whom he entertained a great affection: -

"Bridget the good and the virgin,
Bridget our torch and our sun,
Bridget, radiant and unseen,
May she lead us to the eternal kingdom,
May Bridget defend us,
Against all the troops of hell,
And all the adversaries of life,
May she beat them down before us,
All the ill-movements of the flesh.
This pure virgin whom we love,
Worthy of honour without end,
May she extinguish in us.
Yes, she shall always be our safeguard,
Dear Saint of Lagenia;
After Patrick she comes the first,
The pillar of the land,
When old age comes upon us,
May she be to us as the shirt of hair;
May she fill us with grace,
May Bridget protect us."


Saint Patrick and the Saints of Ireland from authoritative sources (London, John Ouseley Ltd, 1908-1909), 71-72.

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