The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Star Before Doth Stilly Glide

Until the Octave of the Epiphany: At Midnight

Men of stature shall come over unto thee, and they shall he thine, they shall come after thee, they shall fall down unto thee; they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God.—Isaiah xlv.

"Qua lapsu tacito stella loquacibus."

Source: Isaac Williams, Hymns Translated from the Parisian Breviary (London: J.G.F. & J. Rivington, 1839), pp. 87-88.

The star before doth stilly glide
    With gently-speaking rays, 
The seers pursue the wondrous guide 
    With earnest feet and gaze; 
And now the heav'n-led wanderers come 
To towering Salem's mountain home, 
    And there have lost the friendly star, 
As in his darkling mid career 
The star deserts the mariner 
    On nightly seas afar, 
They little deem of envious arts,
    No princely wrath they fear, 
But for their King, with guileless hearts,
    They seek both far and near; 
Faith ne'er shall simple hearts deceive, 
For though the heav'nly Star may leave,
    From Holy Writ breaks forth the light; 
The strangers to the King are brought, 
By His own people set at naught,
    And witness the dread sight.

And we with them would praise our King 
The Father, Son, and Spirit sing,
    The Spirit who doth from both proceed; 
The herald star may guide the feet, 
But Thou alone, blest Paraclete,
    Can the dark spirit lead.

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