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Poems based on the

Hymns of Virginity and on the Symbols of the Lord

by St Ephrem the Syrian

(The overall title and the numbering of the hymns is traditional. The subtitles are my own. The whole collection comprises 52 hymns, so this is very much a work in progress. All these poems are available in pamphlet form here)


  • Three Hymns on Virginity
Hymn 1 'O body strip off ...'
Hymn 2 'Dressed as a lamb ...'
Hymn 3 'Youth is like the ...'
  • Four Hymns in Praise of Oil
Hymn 4 'Open to us, Lord ...'
Hymn 5 'Again, by oil, a lamp ...'
Hymn 6 'Oil flowing down ...'
Hymn 7 'Repentance and diligence, both ...'
  • Three Hymns on the Interpretation of Scripture
Hymn 8 'The tree! the tree! that grew ...'
Hymn 9 'When the Sun rose, the service ...'
Hymn 10 'Try, my son, to apply ...'
  • A Hymn on the Interpretation of the Natural World
Hymn 11 'The Devil lives in a dream ...'
  • Three Hymns on the Temptations of the Lord
Hymn 12 'When our Lord went out to meet ...'
Hymn 13 'He who tried to test ...'
Hymn 14 'Oh, but the wilderness is beautiful and bursts ...'
  • Two Hymn of Blessings
Hymn 15 'Blessed is the barren woman's son ...'
Hymn 16 'Blessed are you, Nazareth ...'