The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Thou From The Cradle To The Grave

Words: Fac Christe nostri gratia, Jean-Baptiste de Santeuil, Canon Regular of St. Victor (1630-1697), Paris Breviary, 1736

Translation: Robert Campbell

Source: Orby Shipley, Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year (London and New York: Burns and Oates, 1884), pp. 43-44.

Thou from the cradle to the grave 
    For us to pain condemned, 
A grateful heart thy people give 
    To praise their suffering friend  
That friend who longed for man to die, 
    While yet in Mary's womb ; 
That God who took humanity, 
    To lay it in the tomb. 

He comes a Babe, though Lord of all, 
    In cold and want to lie ; 
His cradle is the oxen's stall, 
    The straw his drapery : 
'Tis love that makes the innocent 
    The pains of guilt to bear, 
The giver of the law content 
    Its penalty to share. 

That precious blood which gently flows 
    And speaks the law obeyed, 
Foreshadoweth his dying woes 
    A little while delayed. 
The sword that slays the sucklings now 
    Unsheathed must remain, 
To pierce his heart and lay him low 
    With those already slain. 

His chosen race their God expel  
    An exile poor he flies ; 
In heathen lands he seeks to dwell 
    Who made the earth and skies. 
O king of suffering, king of love, 
    All praise be paid to thee, 
With Father, Spirit, God above, 
    Eternal Trinity.

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