The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

How Beautiful The Morning Star

For Epiphany

Words: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, Philipp Nicolai, 1597

Translation: Translation: Philip Pusey, alt.

Music: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, Philip Nicolai, 1599.
The melody is said to be from an older tune from Strasbourg, circa 1538.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML
Meter: 887 887 48 48

Source: Benjamin Hall Kennedy, ed., Hymnologia Christiana, or, Psalms and Hymns Selected and Arranged (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green, 1863), #672, p. 174. Three Verses.

Compare: How Beautiful The Morning Star (from The Sarum Hymnal, 1868)

And I will give Him the Morning Star. Rev. ii.

1. How beautiful the Morning Star
Shines from the firmament afar!
     Night's shadows are departed:
Each creature, casting sleep away,
Now drinks the light's refreshing ray;
     And rests the broken-hearted.
  The deep, the steep,
  Ocean's treasure, Heaven's azure,
Sing the story,
Lord, of Thine exceeding glory.

2. Rise, Sun of Righteousness, and shine
E'en in this shadowy heart of mine,
     Where sin yet strives with duty :
Drive back dark passion's cloud anew;
On godly tears, shed forth as dew,
     Pour down Thy golden beauty:
  Whose beams, in streams,
  As they brighten, shall enlighten
Every feature
Of the fallen new-born creature.

3. Yon sun, that lights these nether skies.
Shall set in flames, no more to rise:
     Thou shinest on for ever:
Kindle each Christian bosom here:
Gleam brightly through each mourner's tear;
     That, from Thee turned never,
  We may, Thy ray
  Gladly hailing, after wailing,
Meet to praise Thee
In that heaven whose light arrays Thee.


Note: The following is from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1892, 1907), with a few additions:

The translation in Common Usage is - How beautiful the Morning Star shines from the firmament afar. This was contributed by Philip Pusey to Alexander R. Reinagle's Psalm and Hymn Tunes, Oxford, 1840, p. 130. St. i. is a fairly close version of stanza i, while stanzas ii, iii, are very free tr. of stanzas vi., vii. Included, slightly varied, in the Salisbury Hymn Book, 1857, [How Beautiful The Morning Star] and thence with stanzas i., ii, 5, 6, altered in Kennedy, Hymnologia Christiana, 1863, #672, p. 174 [this translation]. It was considerably altered in the Sarum Hymnal, #9, p. 6, 1868 [How Beautiful The Morning Star], and this form is repeated in R. Minton Taylor's Collection, 1872, and J. L. Porter's Collection, 1876.

Unfortunately, the earliest versions by Mr. Pusey in Reinagle's Psalms and Hymn Tunes is not yet available at Project Gutenberg, Google Books or the Internet Archive.

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