The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Thou Who Didst Build the Starry Sky

For Advent during Vespers

Words: Anonymous 7th Century Latin Hymn, “Ambrosian.”
See Conditor alme siderum, the main page for this family of hymns.

Translated by H. M.. Macgill

Music: Not Stated

Source: Hamilton M. Macgill, ed., Songs of the Christian Creed and Life (London: Basil Montagu Pickering, 1876), #22.

Thou who didst build the starry sky,
Dost lighten every faithful heart,
Thou who our sole Redeemer art,
listen to our lowly cry.

In pity for our ruin, when
Helpless and sunk in dire dismay,
Our dying world in anguish lay,
Thou broughtst Thy cure to guilty men.

For, when the Virgin’s Son was born,
The world had sunk to noon of night,
But He came bridegroom-like in might,
To shed o’er earth brighter morn.

Jesus Thy will let all obey,
In heaven and to earth’s utmost end
let all being lowly bend,
Beneath Thine everlasting sway.

The world’s all Holy Judge Thou art,
And Thou wilt come when time is o’er
Till then, shield us, we implore,
From fiendish snare and poisoned dart.

Praise, honour, power, and glory be,
To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
Now henceforth and eternally


Rev. Macgill also provides the Latin original, presumably the text that he worked from. Oddly, there were no page numbers in the volume that I consulted.

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