A Poor Brother's Hymnal
Thursday, December 27, 2007
  Jesukin or Iosagan
History connects St. Ita with a lovely Gaelic lullaby in honor of the Child Jesus, "Jesukin" or " Iosagan." Apparently she was not the author, as was long believed, but the ninth-century poet who wrote it was inspired by the gentle devotion of this motherly little nun.

Gaelic lyrics English translation

Ísucán
alar lium im dísiurtán;
cía beith cléirech co lín sét,
is bréc uile acht Ísucán.

Altram alar lium im thig,
ní altram nach dóerathaig ---
Ísu co feraib nime,
frim chride cech n-óenadaig.

Ísucán óc mo bithmaith:
ernaid, ocus ní maithmech.
In Rí con-ic na uili
cen a guidi bid aithrech.

Ísu úasal ainglide,
noco cléirech dergnaide,
alar lium im dísirtán,
Ísu mac na Ebraide.

Maic na ruirech, maic na ríg,
im thír cía do-ísatán,
ní úaidib saílim sochor:
is tochu lium Ísucán.

Canaid cóir, a ingena,
d' fir dliges bar císucán;
atá 'na phurt túasucán
cía beith im ucht Ísucán.

Jesukin
Lives my little cell within;
What were wealth of cleric high,
All is lie but Jesukin.

Nursing nurtured, as 'tis right,
Harbours here no servile spright,
Jesu of the skies, who are
Next my heart through every night.

Jesu, more than angel aid,
Fostering not formed to fade,
Nursed by me in desert wild,
Jesu, Child of Judah's Maid.

Unto heaven's High King contest
Sing a chorus, maidens blest!
He is o'er us, though within
Jesukin is on our breast.


Little Jesus
It is little Jesus who is nursed by me in my little hermitage.
Though a cleric have great wealth, it is all deceitful save Jesukin.
The nursing done by me in my house is no nursing of a base churl.
Jesus with heaven's inhabitants is against my heart every night.
Little youthful Jesus is my lasting good: he never fails to give.
…Though little Jesus be in my bosom (im ucht),
he is in his mansion above.

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