The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

In The Midst Of Gladness, Sorrow

The Purification of S. Mary the Virgin

Words: Editor, "Cantica Sanctorum," 1880

Music: "Deerhurst," James Langran

Source: Arthur Henry Brown, ed., The Altar Hymnal. London: Griffith, Farrar, Okeden & Welsh, 1885, #75, pp. 248-249.

1. In the midst of gladness, sorrow,
    In the midst of sorrow, joy
Darkness deep obscures the moonlight
    Moonbeams, shades of night, destroy;
For above the smiles and sighing
    Of this bright but sin stained earth,
Shines the Will of God, preparing
    All things for their second birth.

2. None can yet partake of gladness,
    All untempered by the Rood
None can bear its weight of anguish,
    Save by Jesu's succour good:
Thus the shady woodland branches
    Hide the sunlight from our sight,
Thus the Cross of Jesus chequers
    Earth's, perchance, too dazzling light.

3. So, sweet Mary this day standeth
    In the midst of all her joy,
Shrouded in the coming shadows,
    Deep'ning in their sad alloy;
And her snowy lily shining,
    As by faith we see her stand,
Seems already shadowed over
    By a cloud from far-off land.

4. Soon will sorrow be her portion,
    Ere she reach the shining goal,
And the deeper, sharper anguish,
    Sword-like, pierce her inmost soul;
But in all the gath'ring darkness,
    Still the light from Gabriel's word
Shines with beams all radiant on her,
    Mary, Mother of the Lord!

5. So, in gladness, hail the sorrow
    So, in sorrow, hail the joy
Thus shall gladness speak of Heaven,
    And the bliss without alloy:
Thus we learn from blessed Mary
    Aye to dwell beneath the Cross,
And to count for that blest station,
    Earthly praise and honour, loss.

6. And, at length, shall shine the radiance
    Of the never-changing Day,
When the Angels come, and go no,
    But abide with us for aye;
Where the lily wreaths are blooming,
    'Neath the sun that goes not down,
Where each brace, each true cross-bearer
    Shall receive a glorious Crown.

Sheet Music From The Altar Hymnal

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