Home  »  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century  »  John Mason Neale, trans. (1818–1866)

Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Mediæval Hymns and Sequences. Hora Novissima. II. “O happy, holy portion”

John Mason Neale, trans. (1818–1866)

(From “Bernard of Clugny”)
(Selected Passages)

O HAPPY, holy portion,

Refection for the blest:

True vision of true beauty,

Sweet cure of all distrest!

Strive, man, to win that glory;

Toil, man, to gain that light;

Send hope before to grasp it,

Till hope be lost in sight:

Till Jesus gives the portion

Those blessed souls to fill,

The insatiate, yet satiate,

The full, yet craving still.

That fulness and that craving

Alike are free from pain,

Where thou, midst heavenly citizens,

A home like theirs shalt gain.


Jerusalem demands them:

They paid the price on earth,

And now shall reap the harvest

In blissfulness and mirth:

The glorious holy people,

Who evermore relied

Upon their Chief and Father,

The King, the Crucified:

The sacred ransomed number

Now bright with endless sheen,

Who made the Cross their watchword

Of Jesus Nazarene:

Who, fed with heavenly nectar,

Where soul-like odours play,

Draw out the endless leisure

Of that long vernal day:

And through the sacred lilies,

And flowers on every side,

The happy dear-bought people

Go wandering far and wide.

Their breasts are filled with gladness,

Their mouths are tun’d to praise,

What time, now safe for ever,

On former sins they gaze:

The fouler was the error,

The sadder was the fall,

The ampler are the praises

Of Him Who pardoned all.