A Hymn to the Virgin - A Hymn to the Virgin

Creation of Adam and Eve, Fall of Man and Expulsion from Paradise, 1424–52, Baptistery of San Giovanni

A Hymn to the Virgin (“A Hymn to the Virgin” ( Maria )) or, according to its opening verse Of one that is so fair and bright , Velut maris stella (“ Of one who is as pure and radiant as the sea star”) is an English carol (Christmas carol). The text of the hymn is a medieval praise to Mary from an anonymous poem from the 13th century, it was included in the volume of poetry in the Quiller Couch edition of the " Oxford Book of English Verse " [1] . The Virgin Mary is described in many ways, "not least as an antidote for Eve's sin." [2]

A well-known setting comes from the young Benjamin Britten (1913–1976) [3] , another by Michael Howard (1922–2002) in his Three Middle English Songs (No. 1).


English translation

A Hymn to the Virgin

Of one that is so fair and bright
Velut maris stella,
Brighter than the day is light,
Parens et puella:
I cry to thee, thou see to me,
Lady, pray thy Son for me
Tam pia,
That I may come to thee.

All this world was forlorn
Eva peccatrice,
Till our Lord was y-born
De te genetrice.
With ave it went away
Darkest night, and comes the day
The well springeth out of thee.

Lady, flow'r of ev'rything,
Rosa sine spina,
Thou bare Jesu, Heaven's King,
Gratia divina:
Of all thou bear'st the prize,
Lady, Queen of Paradise
Engineers mild mother are doing.

Hymn to the Virgin Mary

From one who is as pure and radiant
as the star of the sea, More
radiant than the bright day,
mother and virgin:
I call to you, look at me,
mistress, ask your son for me,
you pious,
That I may come to you,

The whole world was lost,
By the sinner Eve,
Until our Lord was born
From you, mother.
With the Ave she disappeared,
The darkest night, and the day of
salvation comes ;
The source arises from you,

Mistress, flower of all things,
rose without thorns,
You gave birth to Jesus, the heavenly King
By divine grace:
Among all you deserve the price,
Lady, Queen of Paradise,
Gentle Virgin, You were created to be a mother,



  • Sound samples: (a) (B. Britten, Ars Vocalis Choir) (b) (Timothy Craig Harrison), (c) ( Memento from February 4, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (B. Britten, Westminster Cathedral Choir)

See also

References and footnotes

  1. bartleby.com
  2. esoc-chorus.de
  3. vgl. boosey.com: Britten Choral Guide