The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Noblest Cities Upon Earth

At Lauds on Epiphany

Words: O sola magnarum urbium, By Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-405) From Cathemerinon ("The Hymns of Prudentius").

Translation: "H. Trend."

Source: James Rankin, The Creed in Scotland (Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1890), p. 121.

The noblest cities upon earth
Must yield, Bethlehem, to thee;
'Twas thine to give mysterious birth
To Christ, the Incarnate Deity.

More glorious than the sun at morn,
Thy herald-star its rays unfurled,
Proclaiming that the Babe was born
Whose power should save a dying world.

Drawn by its guiding light from far,
The Sages at His cradle meet,
With gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
To worship at His sacred feet.

Nor vain their mystic offering --
The incense owned the Child as God :
The gold did homage to the King :
The myrrh His death and burial showed.


Versions of this hymn on this web site:

The Noblest Cities Upon Earth (This Page)


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