The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming

For Christmas

Version 5: A Spotless Rose Is Blowing

Alternate Title: The Rose of Sharon

Words: Es ist ein Reis entsprungen, 15th Century German carol,
Translator Catherine Winkworth, 1869
See Notes

Music: Es Ist Ein Ros, Anonymous, 16th Century
(Arr. by Michael Praetorius, 1609)
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML
Meter: 76 76 676

1. A spotless Rose is blowing,
Sprung from a tender root,
Of ancient seersí foreshowing,
Of Jesse promised fruit;

Its fairest bud unfolds to light
Amid the cold, cold winter,
And in the dark midnight.

2. The Rose which I am singing,
Whereof Isaiah said,
Is from its sweet root springing
In Mary, purest Maid;

For, through our Godís great love and might,
The blessed Babe she bare us
In a cold winterís night.

Through God's great love and might
The Blessed Babe she bare us
In a cold, cold winter's night.


Another musical setting for these lyrics was composed and arranged by Herbert Howells (1892-1983), A Spotless Rose, 1919 (SATB, with piano accompaniment for practice only). The score can be obtained from Stainer & Bell Ltd., London.

Howells was a pupil of Dr. Alfred Herbert Brewer (1865-1928), conductor, composer, and the organist of Gloucester Cathedral. Howells later studied at the Royal College of Music, and succeeded Holst in 1934 as director of music at St. Paul's Girls' School.

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