The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

From Every Part O'er Which the Sun

For Christmas and Circumcision

Words: A Solis Ortus Cardine by Caius Coelius Sedulius, Fifth Century

Translation:  (Probably) John Dryden, Primer, 1706.

Source: Orby Shipley, Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year. Vol. 1. (London and New York: Burns and Oates, 1884), pp. 26-27.

From every part o'er which the sun 
Does in its rolling compass run, 
May creatures all conspire to sing 
The praises of our new-born king. 

The God of nature, for our sake, 
Our servile nature chose to take ; 
With flesh to lend our flesh his aid, 
And save the works his hand had made. 

In Mary's womb he takes his place, 
And there erects his seat of grace ; 
In silence she adored and blest 
The sacred mystery in her breast. 

Her virgin-womb, that chaste abode, 
Becomes the temple of her God; 
And she, of nature's works alone 
Above nature's laws, conceives a son. 

Thus does the bearing Maid unfold 
The mystery Gabriel foretold ; 
Which John within his mother's womb 
Foresaw, and blest the Lamb to come. 

Behold him in the manger laid, 
A sheaf of straw his royal bed ; 
And he, whose bounty feeds the rest, 
Lies craving at his Mother's breast. 

Here angels to their maker sing ; 
Here heaven's loud choirs with echoes ring ; 
Whilst shepherds here adore, and know 
Their pastor and creator too. 

May age to age for ever sing 
The Virgin's Son and angels' king ; 
And praise with the celestial host 
The Father, Son and Holy Ghost. 

Note from Shipley:

26. A solis ortus cardine. An alphabetical Hymn. Lauds Breviary Hymn, by Caius Coelius Sedulius, Fifth Century. From every part o'er which the sun. Primer, 1706. (Probably) John Dryden. 

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