The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Rod Of The Root Of Jesse

Ραβδος εκ της ριζης.

Ode IV, Canon for Christmas Day.

For Christmas

Words: S. Cosmas (died ca. 760), Greek
Translation: Rev. John Mason Neale, D.D., Hymns of the Eastern Church (1862)

Music: Composed for this Hymn by
Hermann R. Schrúder.

Meter: 7,6,7,6,7,6,7,6,7,7

Source: J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #69, pp. 106-7.

1. Rod of the Root of Jesse,
    Thou, Flower of Mary born,
From that thick shady mountain1
    Cam'st glorious forth this morn:
Of her, the Ever Virgin,
    Incarnate wast Thou made,
The immaterial Essence,
    The God by all obeyed!
        Glory, Lord, Thy servants pay
        To Thy wondrous might to day!

2. The Gentiles' expectation,
    Whom Jacob's words foretell,
Who Syria's pride shall vanquish,
    Samaria's power shalt quell;
Thou from the Root of Judah
    Like some fair plant dost spring,
To turn old Gentile error
    To Thee, its God and King!
        Glory, Lord, Thy servants pay
        To Thy wondrous might to-day!

3. In Balaam's ancient vision
    The Eastern seers were skilled;
They marked the constellations,
    And joy their spirits filled;
For Thou, bright Star of Jacob,
    Arising in Thy might,
Didst call these Gentile first-fruits
    To worship in Thy light.
        They, in holy reverence bend,
        Gifts acceptable present.

As on a fleece descending
    The gentle dews distil,
As drops the earth that water,
    The Virgin didst Thou fill.
Tarshish and Ethiopia,
    The Isles and Araby,
And Media, leagues with Sheba,
    Fall down and worship Thee.2
        Glory, Lord, Thy servants pay
        To Thy wondrous might today!

Note from Rev. Neale:

1. The reference is to the Son of Habakkuk: (iii. 1), where the LXX. give ó "God shall come from Teman, and The Holy from the thick and shady mountain of Paran." Return

2. In later editions, the two lines beginning with "And Media ..." precede the two lines beginning "Tarshish and ..."  Return

Sheet Music from J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #69, pp. 106-7.

Sheet Music from Rev. John Mason Neale, D.D., Hymns of the Eastern Church. Fourth Edition. (London: J. T. Hayes, 1882), edited by Very Rev. Stephen Georgeson Hatherly, Mus. B., Archpriest of the Patriarchal ∆cumenical Throne.

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