The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Soon Shall Our Voices Praise

For Advent

Words: A Solis Ortus Cardine, Coelius Sedulius, a cento from Paean Alphabeticus de Christo
Translated as Christum wir sollen loben schon, by Martin Luther in Eyn Enchiridon (Erfurt, 1524)
Translation by Henrietta Joan Fry

Music: Not Stated

Source: Henrietta Joan Fry, Hymns of the Reformation (London: Charles Gilpin, 1845), pp. 3-6.

The mighty God, even the Lord hath spoken
and called the earth from the rising of the
run, unto the going down thereof.—Psalm l. 1.

The Plains of Bethlehem

Soon shall our voices praise
   The Virgin's blessed Son,
And, far as this bright orb conveys
      His benison,
In honor to the Saviour's name,
      Be homage done.

The blest Creator, Lord,
   Who gave to all things birth,
Beneath a servant's form appeared,
      When here on earth ;
His Majesty in lowly mien,
      Embodied forth.

That through His fleshly guise,
   Triumphant He might be,
And win mankind, a glorious prize,
      In Victory :
He conquered, that our souls, from sin,
      Might then be free.

That thus his fair device,
   Should undemolished stand ;
Should from the dust of earth arise,
      At His command ;
Nor feel the shafts of death that fill
      The Spoiler's hand.

A babe of heavenly mould,
   The child of promise came ;
The prophet Micah had foretold,
      His mighty name ;
And John the Baptist, glad of heart,
      Confessed His fame.

A Godlike grace from heaven,
   A pledge of love, we share
A boon to wondering nature given,
      To seraphs dear :
Behold a miracle on earth,—
      Nor speak it here.

The oxen's food, his bed,—
   In poverty's embrace
Hard was the cradle where His head
      Then found a place ;
Nor did a murmur whisper there,
      But all was grace.

A little milk supplied
   His hunger's utmost need :
It nourished Him who far and wide
      His bounty spread,
So that the tenants of the air
      By Him were fed.

At this the heavenly choirs
   Triumphantly rejoice,
And angel bands attune their lyres,
      And swell the accordant voice ;
They triumph—for the Saviour's love
      Each heart employs.

Creation's God, Supreme,
   Shepherd of Israel !
His glorious advent dawns—the theme
      Resounds where shepherds dwell ;
They listen, for the notes of joy
      Around them swell.

Thanks, honour and renown
   To Thee, oh Christ ! be paid ;
To Thee, the virgin Mary's son,
      Be homage made ;
And to the Father of us all,
      In might arrayed ;
And to the Spirit, let there be
High praise, to all eternity.

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