The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Carol X. The Wise Men from the East

 

Praise We Our God! Yet Once Again

For Christmas

Words: Anonymous.

Music: Portuguese Hymn

Source: Christmas Carols, or Sacred Songs, Suited to the Festival of our Lord's Nativity (London: John William Parker, 1833), pp. 52-55.

 

THE WISE MEN FROM THE EAST.

" When Jesus was bom in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews ? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him,"ŚMatthew ii. 1, 2.

Praise we our God ! yet once again 
To Him the festal carol raise: 
Another theme bids wake the strain, 
And prompts the tuneful voice of praise.

To hail their Lord, of Hebrew race,
Thy shepherds, Bethlehem, first appear:
But see, Judea's King to grace, 
Arabia's sages follow near.

For He, who on his Israel chose 
His glorious beams of light to shed, 
No less with wings of healing rose 
On heathen regions dark and dead.

Led by his star, bright harbinger, 
To herald in that glorious Sun, 
Right on the eastern sages bear, 
Nor labour heed, nor peril shun.

They reck not of the sandy waste, 
They reck not of the scanty spring, 
The robbers' tents, the simoom's blast, 
In search of Judah's new-born King.

Judea's new-born King they find, 
Nor of his lowly semblance reck : 
No golden band his brows to bind, 
No golden chain to wreathe his neck.

An humble mother, poor and mean, 
An humble babe beside her laid, 
Alone compos'd that royal scene, 
Alone the pilgrims' toil repaid.

But see, where prostrate on the floor, 
Their heads they bow, their gifts unfold, 
And heaven's veil'd majesty adore
With myrrh, and frankincense, and gold.

So own'd they Christ; forerunners they 
Of all who sat in heathen night: 
So let us own and praise to-day 
The fountain of celestial light.

Praise Him with faith and earnest will 
To follow where his radiance leads ! 
Praise Him with zeal, which conquers still, 
Whate'er our onward course impedes !

Praise Him, who born of woman chose 
To screen by fleshly veil from sight, 
And in a servant's form enclose 
The fulness of his Father's might!

Praise Him with gifts of price above 
The worth of incense, myrrh, or gold ; 
Hearts undefil'd, unfailing love,
And pray'r that grows not faint or cold !

Praise Him, the King of kings, who sways 
His empire with a righteous rod;
The Man, whom holiness arrays;
And, link'd with man, the mighty God !

Praise Him, all bending low before 
The footstool of the heavenly throne; 
Whom angels worship, Him adore, 
And, as the Father, serve the Son !

Sheet Music from Source: Christmas Carols, or Sacred Songs, Suited to the Festival of our Lord's Nativity (London: John William Parker, 1833), pp. 54-55.

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