For the Fount of life eternal

Author: Peter Damiani

Damiani, or Damian, Peter, Saint, Cardinal, Bishop, and Doctor of the Church, whom Dom Gueranger calls "The austere reformer of the 11th century," was born at Ravenna, about 988. He was the youngest of many children. His mother abandoned him as a babe, and his life was only saved by his being discovered by a faithful female servant, who took care of him until such time as his mother relented and received him back again. Both his parents dying while he was very young, he fell into the hands of a married brother, who, treating him with great harshness and regarding him rather as a slave than a near relation, sent him,”when he was grown up, into the fields to feed swine.” In spite of this treatment, he early developed a virtuous and pious… Go to person page >

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First Line: For the Fount of life eternal
Author: Peter Damiani


Ad perennis vitae fontem mens sitivit arida. Cardinal Peter Damiani. [The Heavenly City.] 1. The earliest form of this great poem on the “Glory of Paradise” is found in the Liber Meditationum, usually ascribed to St. Augustine, and because of its presence therein, it is often given as his. The Benedictine editors of St. Augustine's Works, however, included it under protest; and Archbishop Trench disposes of these claims in the following emphatic manner:—
"This poem has been often attributed to Augustine, finding place as it does in the Meditationes, long as¬cribed to him. These Meditationes, however, are plainly a cento from Anselm, Gregory the Great, and many others besides Augustine; from whom they are rightly adjudged away in the Benedictine edition, as indeed in earlier as well. The hymn is Damiani's, and quite the noblest he has left us." Sacred Latin Poetry, 1849, p. 296, 2nd ed. 1864, p. 135.
2. Following the Benedictine editors, and anticipating Archbishop Trench, Cajetan included the poem in vol. iii. of his ed. of Damiani's Works , with the title "Petri Damiani, Cardinalis Ostrensis, ex dictis beati Augustini, Hymnus de Gloria Paradisi." (Petri Damiani Opera, pars iii., 915-918, ed. Domini Constantint Cajetani.) [Rome, 1606-1615, vol. iv. in 1640; Lyons, 1623; Paris, 1642 and 1643.] 3. Daniel, 1841-1856, gives the full text in vol. i. pp. 114-117, as from certain editions of the works of St. Augustine; at Strasburg, 1489; Venice, 1729; and adds that it is also found in Fabricius, Rambach, and others. Notes on the text are also added. He supplies corrections and additions in vol. ii. p. 382; iii. p. 281, and iv. pp. 203-4. 4. It is also given, in every case with notes and various readings, in Du Merit, 1843, p. 131. Mone, i. p. 422. Trench, 1849, p. 296. Mignes Patrol., tom. 145, col. 861-864, and many others. One of the most interesting reprints is Dr. Kynaston's, The Glory of Paradise. A Rhythmical Hymn, by Peter Damiani, ed. with translation. Lond., F. Fellowes, Ludgate Street, 1857. Translations in common use: 1. For the Fount of life eternal, Is my thirsting , &c.No. 484, in the People's Hymnal, is a cento arranged by Dr. Littledale for that collection, 1867, from translations by Wackerbarth, 1846; Neale, Joys and Glories of Paradise , 1865, with additions from his own translation in Lyra Mystica, 1865. 2. For the Fount of life eternal, thirstily, &c. By the Rev. J. Dayman, first published in the Sarum Hymnal, 1868, No. 320," in 13 stanzas of 6 lines. -- Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 2 of 2)

Hymnal of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross #27

The Sarum Hymnal #320

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