Eterne laudis lilium (Robert Fayrfax)

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  • (Posted 2020-03-30)  CPDL #57770:     
Editor: Humphrey Thompson (submitted 2020-03-30).   Score information: A3, 16 pages, 146 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Edition prepared for the Fayrfax 2021 Quincentenary, generously supported by the Mercers' Company.
  • (Posted 2018-10-15)  CPDL #51491:  Network.png
Editor: Patrick Keefe (submitted 2018-10-15).   Score information: Unknown, 11 pages   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: New edition built on David Fraser’s CPDL contribution. Some changes made to underlay/ficta and mensural transcription using DIAMM facsimiles. Transposed to D and re-scored for SATBarB.
  • (Posted 2010-05-20)  CPDL #21639:        (Sibelius 5)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2010-05-20).   Score information: A4, 11 pages, 188 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Eterne laudis lilium
Composer: Robert Fayrfax

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

    Manuscript 1525 in Lambeth Choirbook, no. 13
    Manuscript c.1501-1546 in the Carvor Choirbook, no. 22
Description: The text of this motet, as well as being a highly fanciful genealogy of Jesus Christ down the female line, is an acrostic spelling out the name of its dedicatee, Fayrfax's royal patron and quite possibly personal friend, Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII. The ‘Anthem of oure lady and Saint Elisabeth’ for which Fayrfax was paid 20 shillings by the queen in 1502 is probably this work.

External websites:

  • Google Books offers a limited preview of Sacred Music from the Lambeth Choirbook, ed. Margaret Lyon (A-R Editions, Inc., 1985), including an introduction to this piece and English translation of the text.

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

E terne laudis lilium, O dulcis Maria, te
L audat vox angelica, nutrix Christi pia.
I ure prolis glorie detur harmonia,
S alus nostre memoria omni agonia.

A ve radix, flos virginum, O sanctificata.
B enedicta in utero materno creata.
E ras sancta puerpera et inviolata,
T uo ex Iesu filio virgo peramata.

H onestis celi precibus virgo veneraris.
R egis excelsi filii visu iocundaris.
E ius divino lumine tu nusquam privaris.
G aude sole splendidior virgo singularis.

I ssachar quoque Nazaphat necnon Ismaria,
N ati ex Iesse stipite qua venit Maria,
A tque Maria Cleophe sancto Zacharia,
A qua patre Elisabeth, matre Sophonia

N atus est Dei gratia Iohannes Baptista.
G audebat clauso Domino in matrice cista.
L inee ex hoc genere est Evangelista
I ohannes. Anne filia ex Maria ista

E st Iesus Dei filius natus in hunc mundum,
cujus cruoris tumulo mundatur immundum.
Conferat nos in gaudium in evum iocundum,
qui cum Patre et spiritu sancto regnat in unum. Amen.

English.png English translation

E ternally praised, sweet Mary,
L ily! Holy mother of Christ, the angel choir praise you.
I n recognition of your offspring's glory, raise up the
Z ealous hymn: he saves our memory from every suffering.

A ll hail, root, flower of virgins, sainted one,
B lessed from your conception in your mother's womb!
E ver virgin, you were a mother, holy,
T otally beloved by Jesus, your son.

Heaven's noble praises venerate you, O Virgin,
Q uickened with joy at sight of your most high royal son.
U nlit by his divine light you ne'er need fear to be.
E xceeding the sun, rejoice, matchless virgin!

E merging from the stem of Jesse came Issachar, and his
N azaphat, and Ismeria too; from the same came Mary, and
O f Cleophas that Mary too. And holy Zachariah, from whom,
F athering, with Elizabeth (whom Sophonia mothered),

E ffect of grace divine, John the Baptist, was born;
N or restrained his joy at the Lord enclosed within his mother's womb.
G od's Evangelist, John, came from this
L ine. From Anna's daughter, that Mary,

A birth! Jesus, son of God, came to this world.
N ot without the blood of his tomb, he cleansed our foulness.
D ays of joy eternal may he grant us,
Who reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit one. Amen
Translation by Philip Krinks