Adam of Saint-Victor's sequence Prunis datum admiremur...

Is a lovely clever thing-- I wish I might hear it sung-- celebrating Saint Lawrence. The penultimate stanza:


Parum sapis vim sinapis

si non tangis, si non frangis,

et plus fragrat quando flagrat

tus iniectum ignibus.

Sic artatus et assatus

sub labore, sub ardore,

dat odorem pleniorem

martyr de virtutibus.

The English translation of Dr Mousseau: 

You have little taste of the power of mustard

if you do not touch it, if you do not break it, 

and incense smells stronger 

when it is thrown into the fire and burns.

Thus the martyr,

Compressed and roasted,

Under labor, under flame,

by his virtues gives off fuller scent.

The reference in the first line-- parum sapis vim sinapis-- is of course to the seventeeth chapter of St Luke's Gospel: Dixit autem Dominus: Si habueritis fidem sicut granum sinapis, dicetis huic arbori moro: Eradicare, et transplantare in mare, et obediet vobis, And the Lord said, If you had faith, though it were like a grain of mustard seed, you might say to this mulberry tree, Uproot thyself and plant thyself in the sea, and it would obey you.