The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Born Of God The Father's Bosom

For Christmas

Words: Corde Natus Ex Parentis, Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-413)
Translation by Rev. John Keble (1857)

Music: Not Stated

Source: Horatio Nelson, 3rd Earl Nelson, ed., The Salisbury Hymnal (Salisbury: Brown and Co.; London: Simpkin, Marshall, and Co., 1867), #36, pp. 34-35.

1. Born of God the Father‘s bosom,
    Ere the worlds began to be,
Omega and Alpha named,
    He the first the ending He
Of all things that are or have been,
    Or that time to come shall see,
                    Ever and for evermore.

2. This is He Whom heaven-taught minstrels
    Hymned of yore with one accord;
Pledged to man in faithful pages
    Of the Prophet’s sure strong word:
As foreshown, His star is gleaming;
    Now let all things praise the Lord,
                    Ever and for evermore.

3. O that ever-blessed dawning,—
    When the Virgin pure and bright,
By the Holy Ghost made fruitful,
    Our Salvation brought to light;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
    Shewed His sacred face in sight :—
                    Ever and for evermore !

4. Let heaven’s height sing psalms adoring,
    Psalms let all the angels sing;
Powers and virtues wheresoever
    Praise with psalms our God and King;
None of all the tongues be silent,
    Mightily all voices ring,
                    Ever and for evermore.

5. Thee let aged men and young men,
    Boys in choral brotherhood,
Matrons, virgins, little maidens,
    One adoring multitude,
Hymn aloud in tones harmonious,
    Of devoutest, purest mood,
                    Ever and for evermore.

6. Christ! to Thee, with God the Father
    And the Holy Spirit, be
Praise unwearied, high thanksgiving,
    Song, and perfect melody;
Honour, virtue, might victorious,
    And to reign eternally,
                    Ever and for evermore. Amen.

Editor's Note

According to Dr. J. Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, this translation appeared in the Salisbury Hymn Book, 1857, and again in J. Keble's Miscellaneous Poems, 1869. It is an alteration of Dr. Neale's tr. made by Keble for the Salisbury Hymn Book.

Translations of the Latin lyrics include:

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