1. Near the cross, her vigil keeping,
Stood the mother, worn with weeping,
Where He hung, the dying Lord;
Through her soul, in anguish groaning,
Bowed in sorrow, sighing, moaning,
Passed the sharp and piercing sword.
2. O the weight of her affliction!
Hers, who won God’s benediction,
Hers, who bore God’s Holy One:
O that speechless, ceaseless yearning!
O those dim eyes never turning
From her wondrous, suffering Son!
3. Who upon that mother gazing,
In her trouble so amazing,
Born of woman, would not weep?
Who of Christ’s dear mother thinking,
While her Son that cup is drinking,
Would not share her sorrow deep?
4. For His people’s sin chastisèd
She beheld her Son despisèd,
Bound and bleeding ’neath the rod;
Saw the Lord’s Anointed taken,
Dying desolate, forsaken,
Heard Him yield His soul to God.
5. Near Thy cross, O Christ, abiding,
Grief and love my heart dividing,
I with her would take my place;
By Thy guardian cross uphold me,
In Thy dying, Christ, enfold me
With the deathless arms of grace.
Jacobus de Benedictis, commonly known as Jacopone, was born at Todi in Umbria, early in the 13th century, his proper name being Jacopone di Benedetti. He was descended from a noble family, and for some time led a secular life. Some remarkable circumstances which attended the violent death of his wife, led him to withdraw himself from the world, and to enter the Order of St. Francis, in which he remained as a lay brother till his death, at an advanced age, in 1306. His zeal led him to attack the religious abuses of the day. This brought him into conflict with Pope Boniface VIII., the result being imprisonment for long periods. His poetical pieces were written, some in Italian, and some in Latin, the most famous of the latter being "Cur mundu… Go to person page >
Author: Louis F. Benson
Benson, Louis FitzGerald, D.D., was born at Philadelphia, Penn., July 22, 1855, and educated at the University of Penn. He was admitted to the Bar in 1877, and practised until 1884. After a course of theological studies he was ordained by the Presbytery of Philadelphia North, in 1888. His pastorate of the Church of the Redeemer, Germantown, Phila., extended from his ordination in 1888 to 1894, when he resigned and devoted himself to literary and Church work at Philadelphia. He edited the series of Hymnals authorised for use by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., as follows:—
(1) The Hymnal, Phila., 1895; (2) The Chapel Hymnal, 1898; and (3) The School Hymnal, 1899.
Dr. Benson's hymnological writings are somewh… Go to person page >
Display Title: Near the Cross, Her Vigil KeepingFirst Line: Near the cross, her vigil keepingTune Title: STABAT MATER (Mechlin)Author: Louis F. BensonMeter: 887.887Source: Variously attributed to Gregory I, Bernard of Clairvaux, Innocent III, St. Bonaventura, Jacopone da Todi, Pope John XXII, Pope Gregory XI, and others