O For Thy Spirit, Holy John
For the Nativity of S. John The Baptist
Words: Ut qreant laxis,
Paulus Diacontus, 8th Century
Translation by The Hymner
Source: George Radcliffe Woodward, ed, Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), #252
1. O for thy spirit, holy John, to chasten
Lips sin-polluted, fetter’d tongues to loosen!
So by thy children might thy deeds of wonder
Meetly be chaunted.
2. Lo! a swift herald, from the sky descending,
Bears to thy father promise of thy greatness;
How he shall name thee, what thy future story,
3. Scarcely believing message so transcendent,
Him for a season power of speech forsaketh,
Till, at thy wondrous birth, again returneth
Voice to the voiceless.
4. Thou, in thy mother’s womb all darkly cradled,
Knewest thy Monarch, biding in his chamber,
Whence the two parents, through their children’s merits,
5. Now as the Angels celebrate thy praises,
Godhead essential, Trinity co-equal;
Spare thy redeem’d ones, as they bow before thee,
Pardon imploring. Amen.
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