The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Bend To Our Hymns, Redeemer

For Christmas

Words: Νευσον πρός ύμνους, οίχετων εύεξγέτα, from the Canon of Christmas Day by John of Damascus.
Translation by W. C. Dix

Music: Not Stated.

Source: Rev. Orby Shipley, ed., Lyra Messianica: Hymns and Verses on the Life of Christ (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1864), pp. 74-75.
Also found in
Bernhard Pick, ed., Hymns and Poetry of the Eastern Church (New York: Eaton & Mains, 1908), pp. 113-114.

1. Bend to our hymns, Redeemer
     The foe's high brow bring low;
Thou from on high beholdest
     Each sin which works our woe,
Yet us, thine own, Most Holy,
     Who steadfastly believe.
Thy minstrels truly faithful.
     Thyself in love receive.

2. The band of herdsmen chosen
     The strange new sight to see.
Was troubled at beholding
     The wondrous mystery:
The offspring of a Maiden,
     Incarnate without seed,
This, this the passing marvel
     No human mind can read.

3. O sight all unaccustomed.
     Their Monarch, Christ the Lord,
They see by tuneful cohorts
     Of seraphim adored;
In tender loving-kindness
     He comes, who rules the sky.
And born of Maid unwedded.
     Fulfills his promise high.

4. Erewhile without a Body,
     The Essence Flesh was made.
The Word took matter to Him
     From Mary, stainless Maid:
That to Himself, us sinners,
     The guilty sons of men,
Fallen chiefs of His Creation,
     He might draw back again.

Editor's Note:

Mr. Pick had this biographical note concerning John of Damascas (Died about A. D. 780):

John of Damascus stands in the first rank of Greek hymnists. He was the last but one of the fathers of the Greek Church, and the greatest of her poets. As a poet he had a principal share in the "Octoechus," which contains the Sunday services of the Eastern Church. He is the author of a canon for Christmas Day, beginning, Εσωσε λαόν, δαυματουργων Δεσπότης, and the odes are sung in service alternately with those of Cosmas's Χριστός γενναται δοξασατε (Christ Is Born! Tell Forth His Fame!).

Other translations by Dix of John of Damascus include:

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