A Boy is Born in Bethlehem
For Christmas and Circumcision
Words and Music:
natus in Bethlehem, a 14th
Century Latin Hymn
See Puer natus in Bethlehem from Dreves, with notes.
Father Henry Ignatius D. Ryder, Birmingham
Compare: A Boy is Born in Bethlehem, with sheet music
Source: Orby Shipley, Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year. Vol. 1. (London and New York: Burns and Oates, 1884), pp. 27-28.
A Boy is born in Bethlehem, Joy bringing to Jerusalem. He lieth in a manger poor Whose kingdom shall for aye endure. The ox and ass knowing adored The Infant, that was Christ the Lord. The kings of Saba come and bring Gold, myrrh and incense to their king. The offspring he of Virgin bright, Made Mother only by heaven's might One after one the cot forlorn Entering, they hail their prince new-born. The serpent's venom knows him not, Though of our blood his own he got : Made like to us in human kin, Unlike us in respect of sin. That like him he might make us be, And with himself and God agree. In this birth's joy let all accord, And bless for ever Christ the Lord. Glory and everlasting praise To thee, O Virgin-born, always.
Note from Shipley:
#27. Puer natus in Bethlehem. From the Mayence Hymnary. A Boy is born in Bethlehem. Father Ryder, 1883.
A similar hymn translated by Percy Dearmer from 16th Century German begins:
A Boy was born in Bethlehem,
Rejoice for that, Jerusalem!
The translation can be found in the Oxford Book of Carols, and is copyright 1928.
Another hymn by Catherine Baird has this first verse:
A boy was born in Bethlehem
With tiny hands and downy head;
The shepherds came to worship him
Asleep within a manger bed.
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