The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

From Where The Sunrise Hath Its Birth

For Christmas

Words: "A Solis Ortus Cardine" from "Paean Alphabeticus de Christo" Caelius Sedulius, 5th Century
Translated from Latin to English by R. F. Littledale

Music: Not Stated
Meter: L.M.

Source: R. F. Littledale, ed., The People's Hymnal. 6th Edition. (London: J. Masters and Co., 1867), #26, p. 11.

1. From where the sunrise hath its birth,
Unto the furthest bounds of earth,
The "Virgin Mary's Child we sing
With notes of gladness, Christ the King.

2. Blest Maker of the world, He came
And clad Him in a servant's frame,
Our flesh with His own Flesh to aid,
Lest those should perish whom He made.

3. His Mother pure becomes the place
Wherein abides celestial grace,
She bears within her maiden breast
A secret by herself unguessed.

4. Soon rises in that modest shrine
The Temple of the Lord Divine:
The stainless and unwedded one
Within her womb conceived the Son.

5. Him in that wondrous birth she bore
Whom Gabriel announced before;
Whom John while yet unborn perceived,
And, leaping in the womb, believed.

6. On hay reclined, the Lord Most High
Within a manger deigned to lie:
And He Who feeds the birds of air
Vouchsafed a little milk to share.

7. The Heavenly choirs now rejoice,
The Angels lift to God their voice,
The Shepherd Who the world hath made
Before the shepherds lies displayed.

8. O Lord, from spotless Virgin sprung,
All glory unto Thee be sung,
To Father and to Spirit be
Like honour paid eternally. Amen.

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