O clemens, o pia Virgo (Jehan L'Heritier)

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  • (Posted 2018-04-30)  CPDL #49494:       
Editor: John Hetland (submitted 2018-04-30).   Score information: Letter, 14 pages, 1.31 MB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Source: A Gift of Madrigals and Motets, ed. H. Colin Slim, U. Chicago Press, 1972. Notation here is at the original pitch with note values halved. Translation, text underlay and editorial accidentals by John Hetland and the Renaissance Street Singers. 21 Apr 2018

General Information

Title: O clemens, o pia Virgo
Composer: Jehan L'Heritier

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

    Manuscript 1515–1545 (copied 1521-1526) in Casale Monferrato MS Fondo Musicale 4, no. 32
    Manuscript c.1530 in I-Bc MS Q.20, no. 14
Description: Votive prayer to the Virgin Mary

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

O clémens, o pía vírgo sémper María,
ne dispícias oratiónem sérvi túi,
sed exáudi me in quacúnque díe invócavero te,
quía ignóro ad quem fúgiam
nísi ad te, dómina mea.
Nóli máter grátie
fílii túi grátiam míhi denegáre,
sed tu adjútrix fórtis
adésto in tribulatiónibus méis,
o piíssima, o benigníssima, déle peccáta méa,
o dúlcis, in hóra mórtis,
adésse míhi dígneris.

Nóli vírgo invioláta
míhi peccatóri fáciem túam abscóndere,
sed ad me cleménter atténde.
Sálva me, salvátrix,
peccáta méa grávant me,
hóstis insidiátur ut rápiat me.
Peccáta hábeo, mérita néscio;
núllum áliud hábeo refúgium post fílium túum
nísi ad te, dulcíssima vírgo María.

English.png English translation

O gentle, o pious, eternally virgin Mary,
do not disdain the prayer of your servant,
but hear me every day I call upon you,
for I know not to whom I might flee
but to you, my lady.
Do not, mother of grace,
deny me the grace of your son,
but you, strong helper,
be present in my tribulations,
O most pious, most kind, blot out my sins;
O sweet one, at the hour of death,
deign to be with me.

Do not, untouched virgin,
hide your face from me, a sinner,
but turn kindly toward me.
Save me, saviour,
my sins oppress me,
my enemy lurks to abduct me.
I have sins, I know not what I deserve;
I have no other refuge after your son
than you, most sweet Virgin Mary.