The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

 Touching Grace, We Princes Three

For Christmas

Nos respectu gracie

From the Marbach Hymner at Colmar, XII Cent., as given by Mone. Melody from the Bohemian Brother's Book, 1566. Versified and harmonized by the Rev. G. R. Woodward.

Notes and Source: George Ratcliffe Woodward, ed., The Cowley Carol Book for Christmas, Easter, and Ascensiontide, First Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd, 1901, Revised and Expanded Edition), Carol #41.

1. Touching grace, we Princes three
Firstlings of the Gentiles be:
Pledge hereby of mercy free
For the heathen ye may see.

2. We beheld a star full bright,
Sign of Christ, the very Light:
Fared we hither, day and night,
Unto God our troth to plight.

3. Triple gifts in hand have we,
Worthy a Babe of high degree:
Yonder Child on Mary's knee
Ruleth heaven, and earth, and sea.

4. Gold our comely King doth show,
Incense, Priest for evermo;
But the gift of myrrh thereto
Bodeth death of bitter woe.

5. Bright of yonder sky the ray;
We, with you, good kings, to-day
Tune the lute and raise the lay,
Homage to this Babe to pay.

Sheet Music from George Ratcliffe Woodward, ed., The Cowley Carol Book for Christmas, Easter, and Ascensiontide, First Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd, 1902, Revised and Expanded Edition 1929), Carol #41
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Sheet Music from Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), #691

Also found in G. R. Woodward, ed., The Hymns and Carols for Christmas-tide (London: H. Grice, 1897), Carol #25, pp. 33-34. The versions were identical except for the following:

Verse 1, line 3. Hope today of mercy free

Verse 2, lines 3 and 4:

Verse 3, lines 3 and 4:

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