The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Herod, Wicked Enemy

Vespers Breviary Hymn For Epiphany

Hostis Herodes Impie, by Sedulius.

From The Primer, 1619, Translator Unknown.

Source: Orby Shipley, Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year. Vol. 1. (London and New York: Burns and Oates, 1884), Appendix p.

O Herod, wicked enemy,
Why should Christ's coming thee afright ?
He takes no mortal sovereignty,
Who can to heavenly realms invite.

The sages went, even as their sight
Could note the star to go before,
They strive to find the light by light,
And him as God with gifts adore.

The baptism of the river clear
Was hallowed by the heavenly Lamb ;
He washing us, away did bear
Our sins, as without sin he came.

He shows new power in actions strange,
The pitchers' waters ruddy grow ;
That element doth nature change
When forth in wine he bids it flow.

Glory, O Lord, be given to thee,
Who has appeared upon this day,
And glory to the Father be
And to the Holy Ghost for aye.

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