Eighteen stanzas with the acrostic TOYTO PΩMANOY TO EIIO∑ ("this poem [is] of/by Romanos"). The second koukoulion is probably a later addition; I have enclosed it in brackets.
The scriptural source for the Presentation is Luke 2:22-35, which is indirectly acknowledged at stanza 5.2. Simeon's prayers and predictions are the core of this kontakion, but several other passages of direct speech also appear as instances of Romanos' dramatic technique. In each case, these passages are subtly marked as extrabiblical: angels adore Christ "invisibly" (aoratōs) (2.1,) and the Lord -- because he is an infant and because his words are the poet's invention -- responds to Simeon "in secret" (aoratōs) (17.2). Mary's thoughts are presented as "silent words" (3.5).
Even Simeon's initial address of wonder to the child in his arms is paradoxically and ambiguously introduced: "he cried out in silent prayer" (5.7). This sort of "stage direction" is usually reserved for introduction of speech that is not found in the scriptural model. It is justified here, since the expanded content of Simeon's first speech is largely doctrinal. Hence, in terms of the Bible narrative, it is "silent." But at the end of this Christological prayer in the kontakion, Mary reacts to what she has heard (9.1). This is a slight inconsistency in setting; it serves, however, a far more significant dramatic purpose. Simeon shifts his attention from the child to his Virgin Mother, and, for five stanzas (9-13), utters and interprets the important prophecies. At the end of this central section of the work, he prays for deliverance. His plea is the famous "Nunc Dimittis," which in the gospel episode is Simeon's first speech. The infant Christ's "secret"