The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

First of Cities, Bethlehem

Hymn XXXIV

Hymn for the Epiphany (I.)

Words: O sola magnarum urbium, Cathemerinon ("The Hymns of Prudentius"), Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-405)

Source: Richard Mant, Ancient Hymns from the Roman Breviary (London: Rivingtons, 1871), pp. 75-76.

First of cities, Bethlehem,
Hail, most favour'd ! When He came,
Saviour of the human race,
Thee the Godhead deign'd to grace.

Brighter than the sun's bright car, 
And more glorious was the star, 
Which in Thee new-born from high 
Told the incarnate Deity.

Him what time the Magians saw, 
Forth their orient gifts they draw; 
Prostrate they with vows unfold 
Myrrh, and frankincense, and gold.

Frankincense and gold they bring, 
To announce their God and King 
Spice of aromatic myrrh, 
To announce His sepulchre.

Jesus, let Thy name be blest, 
To the Gentiles manifest; 
To the Father glory be, 
With the Spirit, and with Thee!

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