The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Cruel Herod! Why Thus Fear

For the Epiphany, at Vespers and Matins.

Words: Crudelis Herodes, Deum

Source: Rev. Edward Caswall, Lyra Catholica: containing all the hymns of the Roman Breviary and Missal (New York: G. Dunigan And Brother, 1851), p. 99.

O Cruel Herod! why thus fear
Thy King and God, who comes below !
No earthly crown comes He to take,
Who heavenly kingdoms doth bestow.

The wiser Magi see the star,
And follow as it leads before;
By its pure ray they seek the Light,
And with their gifts that Light adore.

Behold at length the heavenly Lamb
Baptized in Jordan's sacred flood;
There consecrating by his touch
Water to cleanse us in his blood,

O Day! to which the seas and sky,
And earth and Heav'n, glad welcome sing;
O Day! which heal'd our misery,
And brought on earth salvation's King.

We too, O Lord, who have been cleansed
In thy own fount of blood divine,
Offer the tribute of sweet song,
On this blest natal day of thine,

O Jesu! born of Virgin bright,
Immortal glory be to Thee;
Praise to the Father infinite,
And Holy Ghost eternally.

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