. Introduction This long lyric of short lines has pairs of stanzas linked in rhyme. It is a sequence honoring Gilbert of Sempringham (1083–1189, canonized 1202), founder of the Catholic Church’s only religious order to originate in England. The Gilbertine order included women and men observing strict separation while striving for distinct spiritual unity. Their liturgy features very many poems of this kind, chosen by Gilbert himself from the finest in Europe. He considered them canticae laetitiae, canticles of happiness. . With a Smile of the Heart by an English poet circa 1200 translated by Margaret Coats With a smile of the heart let us rejoice, In concert raising up one voice Of harmonious happiness, For Gilbert, great confessor blest, Has earned above the manifest Crown of heavenly success. Away with bruised and livid ire As our health-giving ten-stringed lyre Banishes harsh tunelessness! His virtues, customs, and good life Instruct us to be free of strife, Inviting all to holiness. Under no bushel does he hide Truths of religion sanctified; Rather, his radiance dignified Supplies the light disciples need. Running their race well fortified, Seeking the prize but sorely tried, They see him ahead, now glorified, Ever a sower of holy seed. Vessel of honor, fountain of honesty, Culture’s conveyor, herald of charity! His discipline is vice’s ruin. Incense of fervor, pattern of probity, Rich in due rigor, guardian of chastity, His careful doctrine cheers the virgin. O how his spirit never slumbers But brings Thee, Christ, uncounted numbers Of virgins and of men Joined marvelously when He makes their bond remote. In the same home their lives they lead, Eat, drink, and pray, sing psalms and read, The weaker sex made strong When righteous men lifelong Chaste works to God devote. If girls a father, boys a mother Seek in looks and conversation, By each intractable flirtation They break Saint Gilbert’s laws. Lustful, stiffnecked, wanton, abject, They are weeds in cultivation, Undermining his foundation While Nature mourns the cause, For here is something near To the celestial sphere Where beauty reigns supreme In fellowship angelical. With wonder one observes How blazing fire preserves Coarse flax, for both would seem To lack restraint effectual. He parts those he unites, Advances those he smites, And curbs those he invites, All through his prudent primacy. His regimen befits The sinners he admits To meet God’s requisites Far from mundane despondency. Like Jacob he returns With offspring in expectancy That Esau’s malice burns, But lo, both yield sweet courtesy. How useful is his legacy! In following his policy, His flock enjoys sufficiency. No grief or fear concerns Fresh innocent proficiency While Gilbert’s rule one learns And keeps it with consistency. For leaving worldly lunacy Imparts a joyful constancy Foretelling perfect ecstasy. Although by holy works The brave Elijah irks That Jezebel malign Who calls his order swine, Yet Christ Himself preserves His prophet who deserves To recognize divine Esteem through many a sign. Therefore, England’s excellence, Good Saint Gilbert, hear! Purity’s magnificence Needs your teaching clear; Dangers cannot harm the school Well protected by your rule. Discerning God as you have done By decorum just, Within your houses may each one, Though unworthy, trust, To serve Our Lord unstained like you The everlasting ages through. Amen. . . Latin original Risu cordis exaltemus omnis simul concrepemus concordi leticia Confessoris Gilleberti cure iam celis inserti cantemus magnalia Absit procul livor ira nostra decachorda lira careat discordia Eius virtus mores vita nos instituentes ita invitant ad talia Nam eius religio non latet sub modio immo solis radio plura prebet lumina Coevis pro bravio cunctis in hoc invio prae cucurrit stadio serens sancta semina Vas honorem plenum honestatis honor morum preco caritatis vite disciplina viciis ruina Thus odorum forma bonitatis dives forum custos castitas procurat doctrina ne sit virgo dina O quam vorax fuit iste infinitos tibi christe virgines cum viris iunxit modis miris iunctura remota In eadem domo degunt edunt bibunt psallunt legunt cum infirmo sexu iuncti casto nexu viri sine nota Nate patri nati matri vultu et colloquium et omne consorcium negant eius iura Mammatrectus et abiectus et in messe lolium est qui censet vicium cum luget natura Dicam nec est secus quoddam celi decus fulget in hoc cetu et vita angelica Nec minus insigne servatur in igne stuppa sine metu set virtute deica. Separat quos unit impugnat quos munit promovet quos punit vir mira prudencia Tale decet eum regimen qui reum pertrahit ad deum mundi per hec invia Cum hiis turmis redit de mesopotamia redeunt cedit esau malicia O quam dat utilia post eius vestigia grex balans suspiria Nullum luctus ledit vel gravat mesticia qui formam quam dedit servat innocencia Nam post hec fellacia possidebit gaudia indeficencia Et tamen hunc odit heliam et rodit Iezabel maligna virtutum privigna Set christus ostendit quis sit quem defendit per tot mira signa tanto viro digna Ergo decus Anglie Sancte Gilleberte forma pudicicie fac possimus per te vitare pericula tuti tui regula Tecum deum cernere semper in decore tecum quoque vivere carentes merare absque nevi macula per eterna secula Amen . . Margaret Coats lives in California. She holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University. She has retired from a career of teaching literature, languages, and writing that included considerable work in homeschooling for her own family and others.