The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

From Princely Walls in Eastern Pomp Array'd

On The Epiphany: At The Mattins.

God hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.—2 Tim. i.

Words: Linquunt tecta Magi Principis urbis, Charles Coffin (1676-1749), 1736

Source: Isaac Williams, Hymns Translated from the Parisian Breviary (London: J.G.F. & J. Rivington, 1839), pp. 82-84.

From princely walls in Eastern pomp array'd, 
They seek the distant Bethlehem's lowly shade;
Faith leads the way, and gathers light, and now 
Leans upon hope, which strengthens as they go. 

What gladness crown'd their steps as now to view 
The Heavenly Messenger appeared anew; 
And o'er the roof the star descending mild 
Showed in a mother's arms the Holy Child! 

But yet no ivory here, no glowing gold, 
No purple royalties the Babe enfold; 
His palace-hall—a stable's solitude, 
His regal throne—a manger dark and rude! 

Others let Kingly pomp and power adorn, 
His is a better Kingship; on this morn 
He, on His poor straw pallet meanly laid, 
Hath hearts of men with viewless sceptre sway'd. 

Lo, at His humble cradle, on bent knee, 
They in the Child adore the Deity! 
And to that Child us of that Gentile seed, 
And to that humble cradle Faith shall lead. 

Love is the gold, meet offering for a King, 
Myrrh to the Son of Man shall abstinence bring; 
And prayers shall be the ascending frankincense 
Which owns our God in veil'd Omnipotence. 

Glory to God the Father, Fount of Light, 
To Him, who shone upon the Gentiles' night, 
And unto Him, well-spring of Charity, 
All equal in mysterious Unity!

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