April 18, 2021

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18 April
‘Done is a battell on the dragon blak’
William Dunbar (c. 1465-c. 1530)

Done is the battle on the dragon black,
Our champion Christ has confounded his force;
The gates of hell are broken with a crack,
The triumphal sign of the cross is raised,
The devil trembles with hideous voce,
The souls are released and to the bliss can go,
Christ with his blood our ransom pays:
Surrexit dominus de sepulchro.

Overcome is the deadly dragon Lucifer,
The cruel serpent with death all stings,
The old fierce tiger with his teeth on show
While in wait has lain for us so long,
Thinking to grip us in his claws strong:
The merciful lord would not that it were so,
He made him for to fail of that prize:
Surrexit dominus de sepulchro.

He for our sake that suffered to be slain
And like a lamb in sacrifice was given,
Is like a lion risen up again,
And as a giant raised himself on high:
Born is Aurora radiant and bright,
On high is gone the glorious Apollo,
The blissful day departed from the night:
Surrexit dominus de sepulchro.

The great victor again is risen on high
That for our sins to the death was wounded;
The sun that waxed all pale now shines bright,
And, darkness clears, our faith is now reborn:
The bell of mercy from heaven is sounding,
The Christians are delivered from their woe,
The Jews and their error are confounded:
Surrexit dominus de sepulchro.

The foe is chased, the battle is done,
The prison broken, the jailors fled and banished,
The weariness is gone, confirmed is the peace,
The fetters loosened and the dungeon opened,
The ransom made, the prisoners redeemed,
The field is won, overcome is the foe,
Despoiled of the treasure that he kept:
Surrexit dominus de sepulchro.

The Lord is risen from the grave! Alleluia!

Rev. Christopher J. Pollard