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to St. Brigid, when he wrote,—“nam parrochia est magna hodie S. Brigidæ in illis regionibus”. Some further observations on the authorship of the Hymn will be found in the Additional Notes.

It is an alphabetical Hymn, containing, however, only the last three letters, X, Y, Z, together with what is called a first verse beginning Audite virginis laudes ; which first verse, both in the Liber Hymnorum, and in the Life of Brigid published by Colgan, occurs after the three former.

It is certain that the line Christus in nostra insula was from very early times regarded as the beginning of the Hymn, for it is so quoted in an ancient collection of hymns which has been written in the beginning of a still more ancient copy of the Greek Psalter, in Irish characters, preserved in the Library of Bâle (a. vii. 3). This remarkable MS. the Editor had the privilege of examining in the summer of 1852. The Psalter cannot be of later date than the ninth or tenth century; and the Hymns written in the first few leaves are in an Irish hand, not later than the twelfth century. The first Hymn is that beginning

Cantemus in omni die

Concinantes varie which is given at full length. Then follows a prayer to the B. V. Mary, beginning “ Singularis meriti, sola sine exemplo, mater et Virgo Maria.” Then the Hymn

Alta audite TA EPTA

Toto mundo micantia, which is also given at full length; and then

' In illis regionibuscap. 9. (Tr. Thaum. p. 528). Colgan remarks on this passage (n. 7, p. 543), “ Unde author indicat se vetustum esse, dum dicit suo tempore illum districtum et ita amplum fuisse ut regiones ad cum pertinerent, et ad S. Brigidam spectasse ; quandoquidem a multis seculis nec tam amplus fuerit, nec ad ordinem S. Brigidæ spectaverit.”

· X, Y, Z.-The indulgence granted to the repetition of the Hymn of St. Patrick (see above, p. 33) was ultimately conceded to the last three verses of it, viz. those be

ginning with the letters X, Y, and Z; so that the repetition of these verses was equivalent to the repetition of the whole Hymn. Was it on this principle that the Hymn to St. Brigid contained only the verses beginning with the last three letters of the alphabet ?

3 Greek Psalter.Dr. Keller has given a fac-simile of the characters used in this Psalter, in his learned paper, “ Bilder und Schriftzüge in den Irischen Manuscripten der Schweizerischen Bibliotheken," p. 86, and Taf. xiii. 5. (Alittheilungen der Antiq. Gesellschaft in Zurich, vii. Band.)

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item, xps IN NOSTRA insola que uocatur, of which no more than these words are given, it being evidently then so well known that the writer did not deem it necessary to transcribe it at length. Then follows the verse :

Sancta virgo virginum Maria

Intercede pro nobis.
Incipit epistola salvatoris Domini nostri Thu Xpi
ad æ . . dgarum.

Deus meus et pater et filius et spiritus sanctus

cui omnia subjecta sunt, cui omnis creatura deservit. Over the words “sancta virgo,” in the same handwriting, occurs the word “beatissima."

The above is probably a part of an ancient office, of which the Hymn Christus in nostra insula formed a part; and it is curious that the Epistle of our Lord to Abgarus appears to have been used as a Lesson, which is a singular proof of the antiquity of the office.

In the Liber Hymnorum the following Hymn is preceded by a short Preface, in Irish, which is here printed exactly as it stands, except that the contractions of the MS. are not preserved. The Hymn is accompanied by an occasional interlineary gloss, now for the first time printed, but it has no rubrical heading or general title. In Colgan's edition it is entitled “ Hymnus de Brigidâ Virgine," but whether this title was added by himself, or was found by him in the MS. from which he printed, does not appear.

The care taken to ascertain the author of every Hymn, by prefixing the curious historical prefaces which occur in the Liber Hymnorum, was probably in compliance with the 23rd Canon of the second Council of Tours (A. D. 567), or with some corresponding ecclesiastical regulation which was of force in Ireland. This canon is as follows :-“Licet hymnos Ambrosianos habeamus in canone, tamen quoniam reliquorum sunt aliqui, qui digni sunt forma cantari, volumus libenter amplecti eos præterea, quorum auctorum nomina fuerint in limine prænotata : quoniam quæ fide constiterint dicendi ratione non obstant”.

i Concil. Labb. et Cossart. tom. v. 863. The connexion between the Church of Ireland and

the Church of Tours in early times is well known.

XPS IN NOSTRA. Ninnid lámidan mac echach irse do nigni hunc çminum do brigit.

Uel is fiac sleibte do nigne. Dicunt ali combad Ultan airdbreccan do gnet. An ise po teclamartar ferta brigte in oén lebor. Audite virginis laudes ire a chosrach. Ond aipgitrech fair. The pithim dnu do pigned. Tri caibtil and, 7 cethri lini cech caibtil 7 se sillaba dec cech line. Dicunt alii combad mór intimmunsa, acht ni failed rund acht cechri caibcil de, .1. in cet caibtil, 7 na cri carbtil dedencha, caura breuitatis.

PS in nostra insola que uocatur hibernia

ostensus est hominibus marimis mirabilibus que perfecit per felicem celestis uite uirginem precellentem pro merito magno In Mundi circulo

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mnus iste angelice summeque sancte brigite
Fari NON ualet omnia uirtutum mirabilia
que NosTRIS NUNquam auribus si sint facta audiuimus
NISI per istam uirginem marie sancte similem

Gloss.—7. Si sint facta.-.i. ab alia virgine. 8. Similem.-.1. an isi brigit maire na ngoidel [i. e. for Brigid is the lary of the Gaedhel (or Irish)].

1. Christus in nostra.--See a translation that St. Ultan wrote an alphabetical narof the Preface, with some observations rative of the miracles of St. Brigid. He and illustrations, in the Additional Notes.

says, “ Ultanus mac Conchubhair episIt will be observed that there is in this copus Ardbracannensis miracula Brigidæ Hymn a rhyme or assonance in the mid in unum collegit librum, ordine alphabetidle and end of each line: insola, Hibernia; co”—De scriptoribus Hiberniæ, c. iii.; but hominibus, mirabilibus ; felicem, virgi the book of miracles was certainly not the nem ; merito, circulo, &c.

same as the alphabetical hymn, and was, 6. Fari non valet.—This passage is pro in all probability, in Irish. bably the authority for Ware's assertion 8. Marie sancte.—See the . Gloss, and

I

10

Ona sancte militie sanctos lumbos precingere

CONSueuit DIURNO NOCTURNO quoque studio CONSummato certamine sumpsit palmam uictorie refulgens magno splendore ut SOL IN coeli culmine

udite uirginis laudes sancta quoque merita
a α

perfectionem quam promisit uiriliter impleuit
rpi matrem se spopondit dictis et fecit factis
brigida aut amata ueri dei Regina

15

brigida sancta redulo sic in nostro aurilio ut mereamur coronam habere ac letitiam in conspectu angelorum in secula seculorum.

. Gloss.-9. Militiæ.-.i. contra diabulum et uitia. Lumbos.--.i. camales voluntates. II. Certamine. -.i. mundi præsentis, ut apostolus dicit, certamen bonum certavi, cursum consummavi. Palmam..i. premiuin. Victoriæ.-.i. ded.

et vivis, 12. Refulgens.—.i. ut dicitur, fulgebunt justi sicut sol in regno patris eorum. 13. Laudes, vel jura is coin (or jura is the right reading). Sancta. .1. brigit and co ro recrad don merita tis [i.e. Brigid is implied in this, so as to answer to the merita below). 14. Perfectionem.-Commadhe so coin ind line (this may be the correct form of this line]; .i. perfectionem promisit quam viriliter implebit. _ 15. Dictis.-Comad he so dna (it may be this, however,] dictis atque factis fecit. 16. Regina.- Vel et regina.

comp. v. 15. In the Additional Note B fourteen only. If we adopt the reading will be found some remarks on this title given by Colgan, suggested also in the given to St. Brigid.

Gloss op ver. 15, "dictis atque factis fecit,” 10. Consuevit.—This line seems imper the number of syllables in that line will be fect, as it consists of fourteen instead of corrected. The suggestion of the scholisixteen syllables; consuevit may have been ast's preface (see p. 63), that the Hymn read as if of four syllables, but this would originally consisted of a capitulum for every still leave one syllable short. Perhaps letter of the alphabet, is unnecessary. Alwe should read “et diurno."

phabetical poems containing stanzas for 12. Ut sol in.-One of Colgan's MSS. the last three letters of the alphabet only reads "et velut cæli culmine."

were common. See an example, Irish ver13. Audite.This stanza cannot have sion of Nennius, Introd. p. 10. These three been by the same author as the forego letters were selected because they were a ing. Neither the rhythm or assonances, triad, and because they began with the nor the metre or number of syllables, is symbol or abbreviation for Christus. exactly observed. Verses 13 and 15 con 16. Aut amata.—Colgan reads “autosist of but fifteen syllables, and verse 16 of mata,” and he has appended to the word the

following note : " Brigida autumata.--In which "aut amata” is evidently a corrupCodice Hibernico [i.e., I presume, the MS. tion:-"Brigid, who is esteemed, or beof the Tertia Vita, which he had obtained lieved to be, the Queen of the true God.” from the monastery in the county of Long In Colgan's copy there is a reference from ford] Antomata : rectius forte automata, the word Dei to the words “al. Cæll,in quæ vox significat instrumenta mechanica the margin. This is, no doubt, an error ita subtiliter et artificiose fabricata, ut sua of the press for Cæli: but veri is inconsissponte, seu se ipsis nullaque apparente

tent with this reading, as we can scarcely causa vel nmotore moveantur; αυτουματον suppose the author to have written "veri enim idem est quod ultroneum, seu suæ cali regina." We must therefore regard spontis”-(Tr. Thaum., p. 545). He does cæli as the suggestion of some transcriber not, however, explain what the meaning or scholiast, who did not feel quite satisof the verse will be if we adopt this fied with the phrase "veri Dei Regina." reading :-“Brigid of her own will the Queen of the true God," seems strange Brigida sancta.—These words seem to theology, if, indeed, it have any meaning. be the substance of a Collect, or Antiphon, But it is singular that Colgan (apparently in an ancient office of St. Brigid. Colgan without knowing it) gives, as if it had evidently took them for a distich of the been in his text, what is unquestionably Hymn, and has printed them as such (see the true reading, Brigida autumata : of Add. Notes, p. 63).

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