The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Saint Joseph, Meek And Mild

Words by St. Ephrem Syrus (c A.D. 307-373), versified by G. R. W. Tune of Gathering Peascods, an old English Melody (1650), harmonized by E. W. Goldsmith.

Notes and Source: George Ratcliffe Woodward, ed., The Cowley Carol Book For Christmas, Easter, and Ascensiontide, Second Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd, ca. 1919), Carol #82 and
George Radcliffe Woodward, ed, Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), #423

1. Saint Joseph, meek and mild,
Embraced the new-born Child,
Then knelt upon the sod:
The old man, well aware
That Deity lay there,
Adored the Child as God.
Full fain was he to own
Yonder Babe, the source alone
Of health and wealth and light,
As awestruck he did bless
The Sun of righteousness.
Sooth, 'twas a wondrous sight;
Sooth, 'twas a wondrous sight.

2. Who gave me charge and care
Of God's own Son and Heir?
The Lord, I well dare say.
The Mother-maid - as blind
'Twas once within my mind
To put her clean away;
Now knew, that she, most blest,
Ever-Virgin, in her breast
Such priceless Jewell bare -
A heav'nly Pearl, the which
Poor Joseph shall enrich
O'er all men everywhere.

3. Mine ancestor of yore
Was David; he that wore
The royal crown by right:
Howbeit, I from great
Fell into low estate, -
Am but a timber-wright:
Yet, Son of David, thou
Wilt ere long upon my brow
Set kingly diadem:
Meanwhile, mine arms enfold
The King of kings, of old -
The Babe of Bethlehem.

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Sheet Music from George Ratcliffe Woodward, ed., The Cowley Carol Book For Christmas, Easter, and Ascensiontide, Second Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd, ca. 1919), Carol #82
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

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