Eternal glory, with the streaming ray
Of holy fire, has filled the golden day,
Crowning with light the apostolic chiefs,
And opening through the stars their luminous way.
The guide of earth, the guard of heaven’s gate,
Fathers of Rome and lords of every state,
Death was their triumph by the sword and cross,
The martyr’s laurel is their crown elate.
Kind Shepherd, Peter, unto thee was given
The keys to close and ope the gates of heaven;
Strike from our souls the galling chain of crime,
And gain the grace for which our hearts have striven
O learned Paul, inspire us from above
With all the graces of the Heavenly Dove;
Bring us the faith to see the truth of God,
And brighten earth with the sweet reign of love.
O happy Rome, that by their martyr blood
Art glorified and consecrate; the flood
Thy gates emblazon; through the flying years
Fairest of earthly cities hast thou stood.
Unto the everlasting Trinity
All power and praise and jubilation be;
One God eternal ruling heaven and earth;
Thy name is holy; Lord we worship thee.
Elpis (c. 471 - c. 500) Italy (Ancient Rome)
Translated by Daniel Joseph Donahoe
Source: Early Christian hymns; translations of the verses of the most notable Latin writers of the early and middle ages, edited and translated by Daniel Joseph Donahoe, The Grafton Press, 1908