Stabat Mater: English texts


 As several versions of the Stabat Mater exist, these variations in the Latin text are given per line. These versions are probably the cause that on the most encountered translation (by E.Caswall or Caswell) some doctoring has been done and for some lines of the translation several completely different versions exist. All these poems start with the line At the cross her station keeping, stood the mournful mother weeping, close to Jesus to the last.

Per line you will find all translations that I found, the literal ones first, the rhyming ones in italics. It is interesting to see how much they sometimes can differ, even though this may be caused by the different Latin versions. Even the literal translations are sometimes more poetical than correct!
The first line (or lines) is my own translation (underlined), revised by a teacher in Latin, Mrs Anita van Ommeren, which should be as close as possible to the original.

A completely different rhyming version by Beatrice E.Bulman can be found at the end.

1 Stabat Mater dolorosa iuxta crucem lacrimosa dum pendebat Filius

The grieving Mother stood weeping beside the cross where her Son was hanging
The Mother stood grieving beside the cross weeping while on it hung her Son
The sorrowful Mother stood full of tears by the Cross while her Son was hanging there
The mother of sorrows stood in tears beside the cross on which her Son was hanging
Weeping stood the Mother of Sorrows next the Cross, the while her Son hung there
The Mother stood sorrowing by the cross weeping while her Son hung there
The sorrowful Mother stood weeping before the cross where hung her Son
At the cross her station keeping, stood the mournful mother weeping, close to Jesus to the last

2 Cuius animam gementem contristatam et dolentem pertransivit gladius

Through her weeping soul, compassionate and grieving, a sword passed.
He whose sighing soul, saddened and suffering, was pierced by the sword
Her soul, sighing, anguished and grieving, was pierced by a sword
Her grieving heart, anguished and lamenting, was pierced by a sword
Her soul bemoaning, torn by sadness and by pain, and by a sword transpierced.
Whose soul, lamenting, sorrowing and grieving, was pierced by the sword
Her soul, lamenting, inconsolable and sorrowing, was pierced by a sword
Through her soul, of joy bereaved, bowed with anguish, deeply grieved, now at length the sword hath passed.
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing, all his bitter anguish bearing, now at length the sword had passed.
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing, all his bitter anguish bearing, Lo! the piercing sword had passed.

3 O quam tristis et afflicta fuit illa benedicta Mater Unigeniti

O how sad and afflicted was that blessed Mother of the Only-begotten!
How sad and how afflicted was that blessed Mother of single Son
O how sad and afflicted was that blessed Mother of her Only-begotten Son
O, that blessed one, grief-laden, blessed Mother, blessed maiden, Mother of the all-holy One
Oh how sad and sore distressed was that mother highly blessed, of the sole-begotten One!

4 Quae moerebat et dolebat et tremebat cum videbat nati poenas incliti
   Quae moerebat et dolebat
Pia Mater dum videbat nati poenas incliti

Who mourned and grieved and trembled looking at the torment of her glorious Child
Who mourned and grieved, the pious Mother, looking at the torment of her glorious Child
She who grieved and suffered, the loving Mother while she observed Her Son's well-known atonement
How she moaned and wept, the Mother of Piety, as she saw the pains of her divine Son
For she grieved and sorrowed, the pious Mother, as she witnessed the pains of her great Son.
She mourned and lamented and trembled when she saw the pangs of her glorious Son
O that loving Mother's plight, grieving to behold the sight of her glorious dying Son
O that silent, ceaseless mourning, O those dim eyes, never turning from that wondrous, suffering Son
Christ above in torment hangs; she beneath beholds the pangs of her dying glorious Son.
Mournful, with heart's prostration, Mother meek, the bitter Passion, saw she of Her glorious Son.

5 Quis est homo qui non fleret Matri Christi si videret in tanto supplicio?

Who is the person who would not weep seeing the Mother of Christ in such agony?
Who is he that would not weep if he saw the Mother of Christ in such torment?
Where is the man who would not weep to see the Mother of Christ in such suffering?
What man would not weep if he saw the Mother of Christ in such torment?
Who is he who would not weep to see the Mother of Christ thus, in so much distress?
Who on Christ's dear Mother gazing, in her trouble so amazing, born of woman, would not weep
Is there one who would not weep, whelmed in miseries so deep Christ's dear Mother to behold?
Who on Christ's dear Mother gazing, in Her trouble so amazing, Born of woman, would not weep?

6 Quis non posset contristari Matrem Christi contemplari dolentum cum filio?

Who would not be able to feel compassion on beholding Christ's Mother suffering with her Son?
Who would not be saddened contemplating the Mother of Christ suffering with her Son?
Who would not share her sorrow, seeing the loving Mother grieving with her Son?
Who would not grieve with her, in contemplating the Holy Mother sorrowing with her Son?
Who would not be seized by sadness contemplating the divine Mother bemoaning her Son?
Who could not be sorrowful to behold the pious Mother grieving with her Son?
Who would not be moved to contemplate the holy Mother sorrowing for her Son?
Can the human heart refrain from partaking in her pain, in that Mother's pain untold?
Who on Christ's dear Mother thinking, Such a cup of sorrow drinking, Would not share Her sorrow deep?

7 Pro peccatis suae gentis vidit Iesum in tormentis et flagellis subditum

For the sins of his people she saw Jesus in torment and subjected to the scourge.
She saw Jesus in torment and subjected to scourging for the sins of His people .
For the sins of Mankind she saw Jesus undergo torment and the lash.
For the sins of His people she saw Jesus in torment and subdued with whips
For His people's sins in anguish, there she saw the Victim languish, bleed in torments, bleed and die
For the sins of His own nation saw Him hang in desolation, all with bloody scourges rent.
For His people's sins rejected, Saw her Jesus unprotected, Saw with thorns, with scourges rent.

8 Vidit suum dulcem natum moriendo desolatum dum emisit spiritum

She saw her sweet offspring dying, forsaken, while He gave up his spirit
She saw her own dear Son dying, abandoned, while He gave up the ghost
She saw her dear Son dying, forsaken, as He yielded up His spirit
She saw her sweet offspring die, give up the ghost, abandoned
She saw her sweet Son dying, forsaken, as He gave up the spirit
She saw her sweet Son dying desolate as He gave up the spirit
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled, she beheld her tender child, till His Spirit forth he sent.
Saw the Lord's Anointed taken, saw her Child in death forsaken, heard his last expiring cry
She beheld her gentle Child dying, forsaken and defiled, as his spirit passed away.
Saw Her Son from judgement taken, Her Beloved in death forsaken, Till His Spirit forth he sent.

9 Eia Mater, fons amoris, me sentire vim doloris fac ut tecum lugeam

O Mother, fountain of love, make me feel the power of sorrow, that I may grieve with you
Come then, Mother, fount of love, make me feel the strength of your sorrow so that I may mourn with you
O Mother, fount of love, make me to feel the strength of your grief, so that I may mourn with you
Alas, Mother, fount of love, make me to feel the strength of those pains, that I may weep with thee
In the Passion of my Maker be my sinful soul partaker, may I bear with her my part
O, thou Mother, fount of love, touch my spirit from above, make my heart with thine accord.
Fount of love and holy sorrow, Mother, may my spirit borrow, Somewhat of Your woe profound.

10 Fac ut ardeat cor meum in amando Christum Deum ut sibi complaceam

Grant that my heart may burn in the love of Christ my Lord, that I may greatly please Him
Cause my heart to burn in loving Christ the God, that I may please Him
Make my heart burn with love for Christ, my Lord (God), that I may be pleasing to Him
Make my heart burn with the love of Christ-God, and find grace in his eyes
Make my heart to glow within me for the God who came to win me, burn with love for Christ, my Lord
Of his Passion bear the token, in a spirit bowed and broken, bear His death within my heart
Make me feel as thou has felt; make my soul to glow and melt with the love of Christ our Lord.
Unto Christ with pure emotion, Raise my contrite heart's devotion, To read love in every wound.

11 Sancta Mater, istud agas, crucifixi fige plagas cordi meo valide

Holy Mother, grant that the wounds of the Crucified drive deep into my heart.
Holy Mother, may you do this: of the Crucified one fix the wounds in my heart securely
Holy Mother, this I pray, drive the wounds of the Crucified deep into my heart.
Holy Mother, do this for me, imprint the wounds of your crucified Son deeply in my heart.
Holy Mother, thus fix the wounds of Him that is crucified firmly in my heart.
Holy Mother, bring this to pass, transfix the wounds of Him who is crucified firmly onto my heart.
Blessed Mother, cause the sufferings of the Crucified to be fixed deeply in my heart.
Thou, who on the Cross art bearing all the pains I would be sharing, glows my heart with love for Thee
Holy Mother, pierce me through; in my heart each wound renew of my Saviour crucified.
Those Five Wounds on Jesus smitten, Mother! in my heart be written, Deep as in your own they be.

12 Tui nati vulnerati tam dignati pro me pati poenas mecum divide

That of your wounded Son, who so deigned to suffer for me, I may share the pain
Of your wounded offspring, who deigned to suffer so much for me, share his pains with me
Share with me the agony of your wounded Son who deigned to suffer so much for me
Your wounded Son who thus consented to suffer for me share his pains with me
Of your wounded Son who submits to suffer for my sake, let me share the pains
Share with me the pains of your wounded Son who is so gracious to suffer for my sake
By Thy glorious Death and Passion, saving me in wondrous fashion, Saviour, turn my heart to Thee
Let met share with thee his pain, who for all my sins was slain, who for me in torments died.
You, Your Savior's Cross did bare, You, Your Son's rebuke did share, Let me share them both with thee.

13 Fac me vere tecum flere crucifixo condolere donec ego vixero
     Fac me
tecum pie flere crucifixo condolere donec ego vixero

Let me sincerely weep with you, bemoan the Crucified, for as long as I live
Let me, pious one, weep with you, bemoan the Crucified, for as long as I live
Make me to share your pious tears to weep Him that is on the cross as long as I live
Make me with you lovingly to weep, with the Crucified one to feel the pain, as long as I shall live
Make me truly weep with you, and share the suffering of the Crucified, as long as I shall live
Make me truly weep with you, grieving with Him who is crucified, so that I may live
Grant me indeed to weep with you, to suffer with the Crucified, until I depart this life
At Thy feet in adoration, wrapped in earnest contemplation, see, beneath Thy Cross I lie
Let me mingle tears with thee, mourning Him Who mourned for me, all the days that I may live.
In the Passion of my Maker, Be my sinful soul partaker, Weep 'till death and weep with You

14 Iuxta crucem tecum stare te libenter sociare in planctu desidero
     Iuxta crucem tecum stare
et me tibi sociare in planctu desidero

To stand beside the cross with you, and gladly share the weeping, this I desire
To stand beside the cross with you, and to join you in your weeping, this I desire
To stand with you beside the Cross and share your grief is my desire
To stand with you beside the Cross and to be your companion in grief is my desire
To stand with thee beside the cross and joined with thee in mourning, I desire
To stand by the cross with you, to be freely joined with you in lamentation, I desire.
I desire to stand with you willingly to accompany you in lamentation before the cross
There, where all our sins Thou bearest in compassion fullest, rarest, hanging on the bitter Tree
By the cross with thee to stay, there with thee to weep and pray, this of thee I ask to give.
Mine with you be that sad station, There to watch the great salvation, Wrought upon the atoning Tree.

15 Virgo virginum praeclara mihi iam non sis amara fac me tecum plangere

Chosen Virgin of virgins, be not bitter with me, let me weep with thee
Virgin of virgins most noble, to me be not now bitter, make me with you to lament
Virgin, most exalted among virgins, be not now ill-disposed towards me, grant that I may grieve with you
O Virgin, most exalted among virgins, be not bitter towards me, let me weep with you
O Virgin peerless among virgins, do not turn away from me, let me weep with you
Virgin of virgins, resplendent, do not now be harsh to me, let me weep with you
Virgin, brightest of virgins, be not cruel to me now: grant me to weep with you
Virgin, of all virgins blest, O refuse not my request: let me in thy weeping share
Thou who art for ever blessed, Thou who art by all confessed, now I lift my soul to Thee
Virgin, of all virgins blest, listen to my fond request: let me share thy grief divine.
Virgin, you of virgin fairest, May the bitter woe Thou bearest, Make on me impression deep.

16 Fac ut portem Christi mortem passionis eius sortem et plagas recolere
     Fac ut portem Christi mortem passionis
fac consortem et plagas recolere

Grant that I may bear the death of Christ, the fate of his Passion, and commemorate His wounds
Grant that I may bear the death of Christ, share his Passion, and commemorate His wounds
Cause me to bear the death of Christ, of passion make me to be a partner, and the injuries to recollect
Let me bear the death of Christ, be a sharer of his Passion, contemplate His wounds
Let me bear Christ's death, let me share his Passion, enduring his wounds.
Make me to bear the weight of Christ's death, join in his Passion and venerate his wounds.
Let me carry Christ's death, the destiny of his Passion and meditate upon his wounds.
Grant me to bear the death of Christ, to share his Passion and to feel His blows
Make me after thine own fashion Christ's companion in His Passion all His pain and dying bear
Make me of Thy death the bearer, in Thy Passion be a sharer, taking to myself Thy pain
Let me, to my latest breath, in my body bear the death of that dying Son of thine.
Thus Christ's dying may I carry, With him in His Passion tarry, And His Wounds in memory keep.

17 Fac me plagis vulnerari cruce hac inebriari ob amorem filii
     Fac me plagis vulnerari
fac me cruce inebriari et cruore filii

Let me be wounded with his wounds, inebriated by the cross because of love for the Son
Let me be wounded with his wounds, let me be inebriated by the cross and your Son's blood
Grant me to be wounded by them, and by the cross to be transported and the blood of your Son
Be wounded with in his wounds, with the cross and with his blood be drunk
Make me by his wounds to be wounded, make me with the cross to be inebriated, and also with the flowing blood of the son
Let me be wounded with his wounds, let that cross inspire me with love for your Son
Let me suffer His pain, let me be engulfed by the Cross, for the love of your Son
Let me suffer the wounds of that cross, steeped in love of your son
Wound me with thy Son's affliction, kindle through his crucifixion zealous love within my soul
Let me with Thy stripes be stricken, let Thy Cross with hope me quicken, that I thus Thy love may gain
Wounded with his every wound, steep my soul till it hath swooned in His very blood away.
May His Wound both wound and heal me, He enkindle, cleanse, strengthen me, By His Cross my hope and stay.

18 Inflammatus et accensus, per te, Virgo, sim defensus in die iudicii
     Flammis ne urar succensus, per te, Virgo, sim defensus in die iudicii
     Flammis orci ne succendar, per te, Virgo, fac, defendar in die iudicii

Inflame and set on fire, may I be defended by you, Virgin, on the day of judgement
Lest I burn, set afire by flames, Virgin, may I be defended by you, on the day of judgement
Lest I be set afire by flames of death, Virgin, may I be defended by you, on the day of judgement
Lest I burn in the flames of hell, let me be defended by you, O Virgin, on the day of judgement
Lest by devouring flames I be destroyed, Virgin, by thee I may be defended at the day of judgement
Burning in the flames, O Virgin, may I be defended by you, on the day of judgement
Fired and excited by you, O Virgin, let me be defended on the day of the judgement
When I am in fire and I burn, may I be defended by you, Virgin, on the day of the judgement
Thus aflame with fire of love, shield me, Virgin, from above, when I hear the Judgement call
All my heart, enflamed and burning, Saviour, now to Thee is turning; shield me in the Judgement Day
Be to me, o Virgin, nigh, lest in flames I burn and die, in that awful judgment day.
May He, when the mountains quiver, from that flame which burns forever, shield me on the Judgement Day.

19 Fac me cruce custodiri morte Christi praemuniri confoveri gratia
     Christe cum sit hinc (iam) exire da per matrem me venire ad palmam vicoriae

Let me be guarded by the cross, armed by Christ's death and His grace cherish me
Christ, when it is time to pass away, grant that through your Mother I may come to the palm of victory
Christ, when I must go from here, grant through your mother for me to come to the palm of victory
Christ, when I depart hence, grant that through your mother I may come to the victor's palms
Christ, when from hence I have to go, grant that by Thy mother I may come unto victorious palms
Grant that I may be protected by the Cross, fortified by the death of Christ, strengthened by grace
May I be guarded by the cross, protected by Christ's death, nurtured by grace
Let me be shielded by the cross, protected by Christ's death, cherished by grace
Let the cross then be my guard, the death of Christ my watch and ward, and cherish me by heaven's grace
By Thy Cross may I be guarded, meritless - yet be rewarded through Thy grace, O living Way
Christ, when thou shalt call me hence, be Thy mother my defense, be Thy cross my victory.
Jesus, may your Cross defend me, And your Mother's prayer befriend me; Let me die in Your embrace

20 Quando corpus morietur fac ut animae donetur paradisi gloria. Amen

When my body dies, grant that to my soul is given the glory of paradise. Amen
When my body dies, may my soul be granted the glory of paradise. Amen
When my body dies, let my soul receive the glory of heaven. Amen
When my body dies, let my soul be given the glory of paradise. Amen
When my body shall die, grant that my spirit will be given glory in paradise. Amen
When in death this body lies, then fit my soul on high to rise to glory in His Paradise
While my body here is lying, let my soul be swiftly flying to Thy glorious Paradise. Amen.
While my body here decays, may my soul Thy goodness praise, safe in Paradise with Thee. Amen.
When to dust my dust returns, Grant a soul, that to You yearns, In Your paradise a place. Amen.

 

Rhyming English translation van Beatrice E. Bullman

Mother bowed with grief appalling must thou watch, with tears slow falling, on the cross Thy dying son!
Through my heart, thus sorrow riven, must that cruel sword be driven, as foretold - O Holy One!
Oh, how mournful and oppressed was that Mother ever-blessed, Mother of the Spotless One:
She, whose grieving was perceiving, contemplating, unabating, all the anguish of her Son!
Is there any, tears withholding, Christ's dear Mother thus beholding, in woe - like no other woe!
Who that would not grief be feeling for that Holy Mother kneeling - what suffering was ever so?
For the sins of every nation she beheld his tribulation, given to scourgers for a prey:
Saw her Jesus foully taken, languishing, by all forsaken, when his spirit passed away.
Love's sweet fountain, Mother tender, haste this hard heart, soft to render, make me sharer in Thy pain.
Fire me now with zeal so glowing, love so rich to Jesus, flowing, that I favor may obtain.
Holy Mother, I implore Thee, crucify this heart before Thee, guilty it is verily!
Hate, misprision, scorn, derision, thirst assailing, failing vision, railing, ailing, deal to me.
In Thy keeping, watching, weeping, by the cross may I unsleeping live and sorrow for his sake.
Close to Jesus, with Thee kneeling, all Thy dolours with Thee feeling, oh grant this - the prayer I make.
Maid immaculate, excelling, peerless one, in heav'n high dwelling, make me truly mourn with Thee.
Make me sighing hear Him dying, ever newly vivifying the anguish He bore for me.
With the same scar lacerated, by the cross enfired, elated, wrought by love to ecstasy!
Thus inspired and affected let me, Virgin, be protected when sounds forth the call for me!
May his sacred cross defend me, he who died there so befriend me, that His pardon shall suffice.
When this earthly frame is riven, grant that to my soul is given all the joys of Paradise!

E-mail: stabatmater@dds.nl

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