The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Let Folly Praise That Fancy Loves

For Christmas

Alternate Title: A Child My Choice

Words: Robert Southwell, 1560-1595

Music: "Materna," Samuel A. Ward, 1882

Source: Henry Sloane Coffin and Ambrose White Vernon, eds., Hymns of the Kingdom of God. New York: The A. S. Barnes Company, 1910, #43, p. 79.

1. Let folly praise that fancy loves,
    I praise and love that Child
Whose heart no thought, whose tongue no word,
    Whose hand no deed defiled.
I praise Him most, I love Him best,
    All praise and love is His;
While Him I love, in Him I live,
    And cannot live amiss.

2. Love's sweetest mark, land's highest theme,
    Man's most desired light,
To love Him life, to leave Him death,
    To live in Him delight.
He mine by gift, I His by debt,
    Thus each to other due,
First Friend He was, best Friend He is,
    All times will try Him true.

3. Though young yet wise, though small yet strong,
    Thou man yet God He is;
As wise He knows, as strong He can,
    As God He loves to bless:
His knowledge rules, His strength defends,
    His love doth cherish all;
His birth our joy, His life our light,
    His death our end of thrall.

4. Alas, He weeps, He sighs, He pants!
    Yet do His angels sing;
Out of His tears, His sighs and throbs,
    Doth bud a joyful spring.
Almighty Babe, whose tender arms
    Can force all foes to fly,
Correct my faults, protect my life,
    Direct me when I die.

Sheet Music from Henry Sloane Coffin and Ambrose White Vernon, eds., Hymns of the Kingdom of God. New York: The A. S. Barnes Company, 1910, #43, p. 79.

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), #29, pp. 50.

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