The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Virgin, Wholly Marvellous

Words: S. Ephrem Syrus, c. 307-373
Translation by J. W. Atkinson, S. J.

For Mary, The Mother of Jesus

Source: George Radcliffe Woodward, ed, Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), # 213

1. Virgin, wholly marvellous,
Who didst bear Godís Son for us,
Worthless is my tongue and weak
Of thy purity to speak.

2. Who can praise thee as he ought?
Gifts, with every blessing fraught,
Gifts that bring the gifted life,
Thou didst grant us, maiden-wife.

3. God became thy lowly Son,
Made himself thy little One,
Raising men to tell thy worth
High in heavín as here on earth.

4. Heavín and earth, and all that is,
Thrill to-day with ecstasies,
Chanting glory unto thee,
Singing praise with festal glee.

5. Cherubim with fourfold face
Are no peers of thine in grace;
And the six-wingíd Seraphim
Shine, amid thy splendour, dim.

6. Purer art thou than are all
Heavínly hosts angelical,
Who delight with pomp and state
On thy beauteous Child to wait.

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