The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

To Earth Descending, Word Sublime

For Advent

Words: Verbum supernum prodiens, Ambrosian, 5th - 6th Century
Translated by Rev. John Mason Neale
Not to be confused with Verbum Supernum Prodiens (St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274),
(A hymn of Corpus Christi)

Source: George Radcliffe Woodward, ed, Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), #2

1. To earth descending, Word sublime,
Begotten ere the days of time;
Who cam’st a Child, the world to aid,
As years their downward course display’d:

2. Each breast be lightened from above,
Each heart be kindled with thy love;
That we, who hear thy call to-day,
At length may cast earth’s joys away.

3. That so—when thou, our Judge, art nigh,
All secret deeds of men to try,
Shalt mete to sin pangs rightly won,
To just men joy for deeds well done—

4. Thy servants may not be enchain’d
By punishment their guilt has gain’d,
But with the blessed evermore
May serve and love thee, and adore.

5. To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
Laud, honour, might, and glory be
From age to age eternally. Amen.

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