, according to the Golden Legend
of James of Voragine, as Englished by William Caxton.
Sequence by Adam of St. Victor
Per unius casum grani
De valle Gethsemani
Grana surgunt plurima:
Orbem terrae, coeli gyrum
Ornat rosis martyrum
Vita Christi victima.
Praestat vires, quibus freti
Cuncta possent perpeti
Nec formidant poni cibus
Suspensi per aera.
His indignus erat mundus:
Dum diei portant pondus
Et aestus incommoda,
Fracti corpus, fide recti,
Mori possunt, sed non flecti
Sub strage multimoda.
Hi certamen certant bonum
Qui, ut Christi passionum
In melotis circumire
Casum omnem sortis dirae
Mente ferunt strenua.
Et hanc sortem nemo minus
Declinavit quam Quintinus;
Quern produxit stirps venusta
Gloriosum in Romanis;
Ut quiescat in Augusta.
Propter jugum Christi lene,
Premunt compes et catenae
Carcerali clausum cella;
Sed triumphat bonus bene
Universum genus poenae,
Famen, frigus, et flagella.
Rogo facis, haustu plumbi
Concremantur ejus lumbi,
Os detestans ydola;
Neque plumbi, neque rogi,
Potu, flamma potest cogi,
Ut fiat Jovicola.
Inter ungues, ictu gravi,
Defiguntur decern clavi
Sudes ferri suunt dorsum
Descendentes in deorsum
Ab utraque scapula.
Rastris demum praeacutis
Exaratur ejus cutis
Propter verbi semina.
Lacerantur et lacerti,
Dum jubetur circumverti
De pretioso vertice
Ut columba nivea:
Sublatum ab area,
Suffertur ad horrea
Granum sine palea,
Gloriam, et gloria
Englished by Digby S. Wrangham
Countless seeds spring up about us
From the fall of one seed, brought us
From the vale Gethsemane:
Life, for Christ, as victim given,
Decks earth's orb and vaulted heaven
As with roses gracefully.
Strength, to stay them and embolden,
Gives it, by the which upholden,
Men can pain of all kinds bear:
Neither fear they to be given,
As their food, to birds of heaven,
Hung suspended in the air.
Of them was the world not worthy;
As, thus tortured, they endure the
Heat and burden of the day:
Sound in faith, stoned, sawn asunder.
They can die, but ne'er bend under
Slaughter's multiform array.
These have fought a good fight truly,
Who, that of Christ's sufferings fully
They might fill up what remained,
Bore, in sheepskins clad, to wander,
And a mind, still steadfast, under
Fortune's cruel lot maintained.
To escape this lot none ever
Less than Quintin did endeavour;
Glorious Rome itself confest him;
He, from fair stock there descended,
Toiled in Amiens, that, life ended,
He might in St. Quentin rest him.
Since Christ's easy yoke doth bless him,
Clamps and clanking chains compress him.
Kept in close incarceration;
But God's Saint, both good and holy.
Triumphs o'er all torments throughly,
Famine, frost, and flagellation.
He is burnt with lighted torches.
Molten lead that bold mouth scorches,
Which their idols durst reprove:
Neither draught of lead can force him,
Nor can flaming torch coerce him.
To adore the heathen Jove.
'Neath his nails, by hard blows riven,
Are ten nails then deeply driven
By a huge four-sided spear:
From each shoulder downward slanted,
Iron spits behind are planted.
And his flesh like needles tear.
With sharp-pointed rakes they flay him,
Ploughing off his skin, and slay him
For that Word's sake by him sown:
Rudely are his arms too riven,
Till at last command is given,
And the fatal knife falls down.
From his precious head doth fly
Upward most mysteriously
What appeared a milk-white dove:
From the threshing-floor below
Is the winnowed grain borne now
To God's barn in heaven above.
Glory this man's grief and shame
Have produced; that glory's fame
Alleluias to his name!