The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A Fair And Godly Flower I Know

Ich weiss ein Blümlein hübsch und fein

For Christmas

From M. Praetorius, 1610

Source: G. R. Woodward, ed., The Hymns and Carols for Christmas-tide (London: H. Grice, 1897), Carol #12, pp. 20-21.

A fair and goodly flower I know,
    Which doth delight me greatly:
Upon our common it doth grow,
    Above all other stately.

From David sprang the parent root
    That bore the graceful flower:
From nowhere came such noble fruit
    But from a kingly bower.

Well spake Esay, that man of God,
    In true prophetic story,
That such from stem of Jesse's rod
    Should spring and bloom in glory.

On him the Holy Ghost should rest,
    Of wisdom full, and power:
In all our work his aid is best;
    His strength our richest dower.

From serpent-bite when sick to death
    In sin I lay a season,
This flower's sweet taste and fragrant breath
    Restored me health and reason.

And it hath virtues great, an heap,
    Death to overcome and banish;
So long as we this medicine keep,
    E'en sorest ailments vanish.

This gold of Ophir doth excel,
    Or any earthly treasure:
Hereby God loveth men right well,
    Who do his will and pleasure.

This I shall plant, when I have dressed
    And made my garden level:
His perfume sweet shall make me blest
    My soul therein shall revel.

This noble flower shall be my care,
    And I his faithful warden:
T'will make my spirit blithe, and there
    Shall be my pleasure-garden.

This tender plant the worldly wise
    Despise and let it perish:
But come from noble stock, I prize
    The same, and aye will cherish.

The Word made flesh my flow'ret is
    God full of grace and pity:
His guerdon is to taste of bliss
    Within his heavenly city.

Now if we to his laws attend,
    And keep the seed eternal,
Then soothly he will aye defend
    Our souls from powers infernal.

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