Joys of Paradise or Fount of Life Eternal, or Fount of Paradise

In the mid 70s I relocated to San Diego in pursuit of God’s will as a young man. My relations with other Christians had taken a new turn from Baptist to Brethren to Charismatics to Catholic. The first Christian that I met in my conversion to Christ, and had nurtured me, had then recently abandoned the Protestant Church and Faith to become Roman Catholic. I was greatly exercised about this, and began reading Catholic literature in earnest. John Henry Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua (his apology and defense for becoming Catholic, a later made Cardinal (and could have easily become Pope), challenged me to the core (Scripture and Darby and others rescued me). In my first year in San Diego (1975) I spent 6 months with the Charismatic Catholics at St Therese in Del Cerro by SDSU. During those months I completed Augustine’s Confessions and City of God. While reading a Catholic Anthology I found a Song and Hymn of Augustine that greatly influenced and encouraged me. I added to my Song Book of Psalms , Hymns, and Spiritual Songs that I collected along my journey among Christians. I here pass it on to others, giving the Latin original after the English translation (which is very slightly different from my hand written copy from the Catholic Anthology published by Macmillan in 1929, attributing the translation to a Prioress Augustine Convent of Carmelites. Hymn anciently attributed to St. Augustine but now to St. Damian, based on Augustine’s doctrines).


(Augustine’s Song. St, Bishop, of Hippo. 4thc. Lat-Engl.  From The Messenger of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. vol 34, Feb 1899, p168, n2. Joys of Paradise or Fount of Life Eternal, or Fount of Paradise.)

Translation of St. Augustine’s Latin Song.
For the Fount of Life Eternal
Panteth the enamored soul,
From its bonds th’ imprisoned spirit
Seeketh freedom of control,
Exiled here it turns and flutters,
Struggling for its native goal.
When ’neath trial and confusion,
Pressed by misery and pain,
It beholds its glory clouded,
By the breath of deadly bane,
Present evil but enhanceth
Memory of a perished gain.

Who can voice the joy surpassing
Of that endless peace supreme,
Where the living pearls of beauty
In the lofty dwellings gleam,
Where the spacious halls and mansions
With a golden glory stream?
Precious are the gems compacted
In that palace, stone on stone,
Purest gold like unto crystal
Is upon the highway strown
Free of dust and spotless ever,
For no darkening stain is known.

Blighting Winter, burning Summer
There no longer hold their sway,
Spring perpetual bright with roses,
Bloometh, knowing no decay :
Lilies glisten, crocus gleameth,
Balsam sendeth perfumed spray.
Verdant are the springing meadows
And the honied rivers flow,
Odors breathe their sweet aroma
As the spicy breezes blow,
In the groves, with fruit unfailing,
Leafy boughs are bending low.

There no fickle moon appeareth,
Nor do planets speed their way,
For the Lamb is light undying
Of that happy land alway,
Night and time are ever banished
For ’tis never ending day.
There the saints in light supernal
As a glorious sun-burst shine,
Crowned triumphant then, exulting
In an ecstacy divine,
They recount their glorious conquests
With the raging foe in line.

Free from stain, their battle over,
E’en the flesh is glorified;
Flesh transfigured, with the spirit,
Doth in harmony abide,
Peaceful with a holy stillness
Troubled by no sinful tide.
Freed from weight of all mutation,
To their Source they swiftly rise,
On the Face of Truth Eternal
Gazing with enraptured eyes,
Thence to draw reviving sweetness
From the Fount of Paradise.

They rejoice in changeless being,
Glory in a steadfast will,
Lit with vivifying rapture,
Subject to no passing ill,
Sickness flying, health undying,
Though eternal, youthful still,
Thus they have perennial being,
For transition now is o’er,
Thus they flourish, bloom and flower,
Ne’er decaying, as of yore.
Strong with an immortal vigor,
Death is conquered evermore.

Knowing Him Who knoweth all things,
In all knowledge they delight,
E’en the secret of each bosom,
Charmeth now each ravished sight,
One in mind, in will, in spirit,
They in all of good unite.
“ Star shall differ,” for the glory
Is apportioned to the pain,
But in bond of sweet communion,
Charity doth so ordain,
That the treasure each possesseth
Shall enrich the common gain.

To the body flock the eagles,
For the royal feast is spread,
Saints and Angels rest together,
On celestial bounty fed;
Citizens of earth and heaven,
Seek the One Life-giving Bread.
Famished yet restored with plenty,
What they have they yet desire,
Sated, yet they languish never,
Nor doth hunger ever tire.
Ever longing they are feasting,
Yet to feast they still aspire.

Songs of melody enchanting
Their melodious voices raise,
String and psaltery are mingled
With the jubilee of lays,
Offering to the King Eternal
Homage of the victor’s praise.
Happy soul to whom the vision
Of the Heavenly King is known,
Who hath seen the vast creation
Circling ‘neath His lofty throne,
Sun and moon and sphery splendor
In their varied beauty shown.

Thou, O Christ, the Palm of battle,
Lead me to Thy land of rest,
When I shall have loosed the sword-belt,
Cast the buckler from my breast,
Make me sharer in the guerdon
Thou bestowest on the blest.
Prove the valor of Thy warrior
When the din of war is rife,
But refuse not sweet refreshment
To the victor after strife,
Be Thyself my Prize Eternal,
Thou, my Everlasting Life.

Attributed to Sairt Augustine of Hippo 4thc
Ad perennis vitae fontem
Mens sitivit avida,
Claustra carnis praesto frangi
Clausa quaerit anima,
Gliscit, ambit, eluctatur
Exul frui patria.
Dum pressuris ac :erumnis
Se gemit obnoxium,
Quam amisit, dum deliquit,
Contemplatur gloriam,
Praesens malum auget boni
Perditi memoriam.
Nam quis promat summa: pacis
Quanta sit laetitia,
Ubi vivis margaritis
Surgunt aedificia,
Auro celsa micant tecta,
Radiant triclinia.
Solis gemmis pretiosis
Haec structura nectitur;
Auro mundo, tanquam vitro,
Urbis via sternitur,
Abest limus, deest fimus,
Lues nulla cernitur.
Hiems horrens, cestas torrens
Illic numquam aeviunt,
Flos perpetuus rosarum
Ver agit perpetuum,
Cadent lilia, rubescit
Crocus, sudat balsamum.
Virent prata, vernant sata,
Rivi mellis influunt,
Pigmentorum spirit odor,
Liquor et aromatum.
Pendent poma floridorum
Non lapsura nemorum.
Non alternat luna vices,
Sol vel cursus siderum,
Agnus est felicis urbis
Lumen inocciduum,
Nox et tempus desunt ei,
Diem fert continuum.
Nam et sancti quique velut
Sol praeclarus rutilant,
Post triumphum coronati
Mutuo coniubilant,
Et prostrati pugnas hostis
Iam securi numerant.
Omne labe defaccati
Carnis bella nesciunt,
Caro facta spiritalis
Et mens unum sentiunt,
Pace multa perfruentes
Scandalum non perferunt.
Mutabilibus exuti
Repetunt originem,
Et praesentem veritatis
Contemplantur speciem.
Hinc vitalem vivi fontis
Hauriunt dulcedinem.
Inde statum semper idem
Existendi capiunt,
Clari, vividi, jucundi
Nullis patent casibus,
Absunt morbi semper sanis,
Senectus juvenibus.
Hinc perenne tenent esse,
Nam transire transiit,
Inde virent, vigent, florent:
Corruptela corruit,
Immortalitatis vigor
Mortis jus absorbuit.
Qui scientem cuncta sciunt
Quid nescire nequeunt,
Nam et pectoris arcana
Penetrant alterutrum
Unum volunt, unum nolunt,
Unitas et mentium.
Licet cuiquam sit diversum
Pro labore meritum,
Caritas hoc facit suum,
Quod dum amat alterum,
Proprium sit singulorum
Fit commune omnium.
Ubi corpus, illic jure
Congregantur aquilae;
Quo cum angelis et sanctae
Recreantur animae,
Uno pane vivunt cives
Utriusque patriae.
Avidi et semper pleni,
Quod habent desiderant,
Non satietas fastidit,
Neque fames cruciat,
Inhiantes semper edunt
Et edentes inhiant.
Novas semper melodias,
Vox meloda concrepat,
Et in jubilum prolata,
Mulcent aures organa,
Digna per quem sunt victores
Regi dant praeconia.
Felix coeli qure praesentem
Regem cernit anima,
Et sub sede spectat alta
Orbis volvi machinam
Solem, lunam et globosa
Cum planetis sidera!
Christe, palma bellatorum,
Hoe in municipium
Introduc me post solutum
Militare cingulum,
Fac consortem rne donetur
Beatorum civium!
Probes vires inexhausto
Laboranti preelio;
Nec quietem post procinctum
Deneges emerito,
Teque merear potiri
Sine fine preemio.

About mjmselim

Male, 68 in Oct., born in Jamaica, USA since 1961, citizen in 2002; cobbler for 40 plus years, retired, Christian since 1969; married to same wife since 1979; 6 daughters and 2 sons, with 8 grandkids. Slowly adapting to the digital world of computers and internet; hobby in digital editing.
This entry was posted in Christian Poetry, Psalms Hymns Spiritual Songs, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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