The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O God, That Guides The Cheerful Sun

A Carol For New-Year's Day

Words: William Byrd

Music: Unknown

Source: William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868)

1. O God, that guides the cheerful sun
By motions strange the year to frame,
Which now, returned whence it begun,
From heaven extols Thy glorious Name
This New-year's season sanctify,
With double blessings of Thy store,
That graces new may multiply,
And former follies reign no more.
So shall our hearts with heaven agree,
And both give laud and praise to Thee. Amen.

2. Th' old year by course is past and gone,
Old Adam, Lord, from us expel:
New creatures make us every one,
New life becomes the New year well.
And new born babes from malice keep,
New wedding garments, O Christ, we crave;
That we Thy face in heaven may see
With Angels bright our souls to save.
So shall our hearts with heaven agree,
And both give laud and praise to Thee. Amen.

Husk's Note:

This carol is contained, under the above title [A Carol For New-Year's Day], in the scarce musical work called "Psalms, Songs, and Sonnets: Some solemne, other ioyfull, framed to the life of the Words; Fit for Voyces or Viola of 3, 4, 5, and 6 parts. Composed by William Byrd, one of the Gent. of his Maiesties honourable Chappell." London, 1611. It is now given from a copy of that work in the library of the Sacred Harmonic Society, and is believed never to have been included in any previous collection of carols.

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