The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

From the Faint Daysprings Eastern Goal


Hymn for Our Lord's Nativity (2.)

A Solis Ortus Cardine

Source: Richard Mant, Ancient Hymns from the Roman Breviary (London: Rivingtons, 1871), pp. 71-72.

From the faint dayspring's eastern goal
    Far as the utmost west, 
Come, sing we Christ, the Saviour born 
    Of Virgin Mother blest: 
The Father of the age to come, 
    In servant's form array'd, 
That man He might for man atone, 
    And ransom whom He made.

Within that Mother's spotless frame
    Celestial favour reigns, 
A secret load, she ween'd not of, 
    The maiden pure sustains: 
Her bosom chaste at once becomes 
    The temple of her God,
And she, who knew not man, is made 
    A heavenly Babe's abode.

He comes, He comes, the Virgin-born
    To Gabriel's promise true; 
He whom, as yet unborn, o'erjoy'd 
    The unborn Baptist knew; 
Nor recks He of His bed of hay, 
    Nor He the manger heeds; 
Enough the milky breast for Him,
    Who the young ravens feeds.

A shepherd to the shepherds' fold
    The Lord of all is show'd, 
Celestial choristers rejoice,
    And angels sing to God. 
Now glory, Jesus, be to Thee, 
    Whom a pure Virgin bore, 
With Father, and with Holy Ghost, 
    Henceforth for evermore.

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