A Christmas Pair

A Christmas Pair (Two Anthems for Christmastide for SATB chorus and organ)
1. Down to the Roots of the World
2. Lumen de Lumine

A Christmas Pair is the result of a 1989 commission from Jean Lubs of Binghamton, New York honoring the 1 July 1989 birthday of her husband, Dr. Vernon C. Lubs I wish to thank the Kennebunkport, Maine poet and copyright holder, Christine Teale Howes, for her kind permission to use and reproduce her poetry in A CHRISTMAS PAIR (Two Anthems for Christmastide).

Dan Locklair

1. Down to the Roots of the World
(from A CHRISTMAS PAIR)

Nor gather flowers now, their fragrance lies
a summer’s lovely total in the hay;
When in that distant barn a baby cries,
the peasant mother sings a roundelay.
Nor gather flowers now, when here is love,
grand roots this network for a world in storm
–the wind, the singing angels and the dove–
unsatellite as all things aeriform.
When angels rode the winds of Christmas night,
they sang ecstatic praises of a birth,
calling this new born Child the Prince of Light,
the King of Glory, Rose of Heaven and Earth.
Nor gather flowers now, diversify:
weave this wild boy a bright heraldic butterfly.

From CHRISTMAS POETRY by
Christine Teale Howes
.

2. Lumen de Lumine
(from A CHRISTMAS PAIR)

1.
Lumen de lumine,*
in this Advent apple tree

— a solis ortus cardine —
[risen from the direction of the sun]

watch for angel sesame.

2.
Lumen de lumine

knowing something of the night

— O lux beata, Trinitas! —
[O blessed light, O Trinity]

knowing more than speed of light.

3.
Lumen de lumine,

next year’s fruit within the bough

— dulcis super omnia —
[Sweet above all earthly things]

why not find the angel now?

4.
Lumen de lumine,

the angel irritant is here

— in sempiterna saecula —
[Whilst we run this earthly race]

haloed is the angel’s sphere.

*Lumen: the light which the darkness did not comprehend. Sigrid Undset: Christmas and Twelfth Night.

5.
Lumen de lumine,

in nearby barn, new evensong

— Christo paremus cantica —
[Let us prepare songs to Christ]

notes that with a birth belong.

6.
Lumen de lumine,

energy and time refract

— jacent mundi gaudia —
[Joy of heaven to earth He brings]

once again the Holy act.

7.
Lumen de lumine,

from tree to barn angelic tread

— nascitur in stabulo —
[He is born in the stable]

in burnished barn in little bed.

From CHRISTMAS POETRY
by Christine Teale How