The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Night of Nights, Supreme Delights

For Christmas and Circumcision

Words: O ter fęcundas, O ter jucundas by Marburne, Order of St. Benedict, Abbot of Livry, Fifteenth Century.

Translation:  J. C. Earle, 1883.

Source: Orby Shipley, Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year. Vol. 1. (London and New York: Burns and Oates, 1884), p. 31-32.

O night of nights, supreme delights, 
	Thy watches charm and bless ; 
And joys of heaven, profusely given, 
	Refresh earth's wilderness. 

The sad, sick world through Eve lies furled 
	In clouds of death and night ; 
But God doth rise in human guise 
	To be its life and light. 

Whom angels own as God alone, 
	Is clothed by mortal hands ; 
In cattle-stall, the Lord of all 
	Sleeps clasped in swathing-bands. 

In cradle laid, his voice is stayed, 
	Who is the eternal Word : 
The sun grows pale, his forces fail ; 
	What means all we have heard ? 

O shaft of love, to God above 
	A rock-hewn home is given : 
Farewell ye stars ; hail, crib and bars ; 
	A manger is my heaven. 

Note from Shipley:

31. O ter fecundas, O ter jucundas. Sequence by Marburne, Order of St. Benedict, Abbot of Livry, Fifteenth Century. O night of nights, supreme delights. J. C. Earle, 1883.

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