The banners of the King advance:
the mystery of the Cross shines forth,
He, the creator of all flesh,
flesh himself, was hanged.
He whose side was wounded
by the cruel point of the spear,
that he might wash away our sins,
gave forth water and blood.
It is fulfilled in David's
true song that prophesied,
saying: among the nations
God has reigned from a tree.
O tree of light and beauty,
adorned with royal purple,
chosen from stock worthy
to touch the sacred limbs.
The blessed tree, upon whose branches
hung the ransom of the world,
was made the balance for his body,
and bore away the spoils of hell.
Hail, O Cross, our only hope.
In this Passiontide increase
justice to the pious.
Grant forgiveness to sinners.
God most high Trinity,
may every soul praise you:
for ever reign over those you save
through the mystery of the Cross.
(Venantius Fortunatus, VI century)
[Translation: Nancho Álvarez]