The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A Star Appeared, And Peaceful Threw

Alternate Title: The Star In The East

For Christmas

Words: Attributed to Thomas Campbell (1777-1844)

Music: Unknown

Source: The Book of Christmas Hymns (London: T. Nelson and Sons, 1868), pp. 17-18.

A star appeared, and peaceful threw
Around its holy ray ;
It caught the faithful Magi's view,
It led the wondrous way,
From far-famed Persia's smiling bowers
Fair land of beauty, fruits, and flowers.

Each heart throughout the gazing throng
What anxious gladness fills,
While slowly moved that star along
O'er Judah's sacred hills ;
And softly fixed its mellow light
On distant Bethlehem's joyful night.

There, unknown to rich and great,
Or the perfumed halls of state,
Where the golden lamps so bright
Mock the silence of the night,
And the strains of music tender
Rise and fall 'mid scenes of splendour,

The Prince of Peace, so young, so fair,
In lowly state was sleeping ;
While near, with kind parental care,
His mother watch was keeping.
The Magi viewed the Bless'd of Heaven:
Their joy was full their gifts were given.

Let the sound of the sweet harp of Judah arise !
Let the hymns of the Gentiles ascend to the skies !


Several sources give attribution to "Campbell," without any details such as the date or publisher. These sources include:


Campbell, Thomas, the Poet, has little in common with hymnody. A few of his pieces, including,"When Jordan hushed its waters still," are found in a limited number of hymnals. His poetical works, The Pleasures of Hope, Gertrude of Wyoming, and others, have been reprinted several times. He was b. at Glasgow, 1777; d. at Boulogne, 1844, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Source: John Julian, The Dictionary of Hymnology (1892, 1907).

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