The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

What Makes Thee, Cruel Herod, Shake?

Vespers Breviary Hymn, For Epiphany and The Weeks After

Words: Crudelis Herodes, Deum. Revised from Hostis Herodes Impie. by Sedulius

Translation:  Author unknown, Evening Office, 1710.

Source: Orby Shipley, Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year. Vol. 1. (London and New York: Burns and Oates, 1884), p. 49.

What makes thee, cruel Herod, shake 
For fear that Christ thy crown should take ? 
He will not seize an earthly throne 
Who heavenly kingdoms makes our own. 

The sages coming from afar 
Follow the new-appearing star ; 
With light they seek a better light ; 
Their gifts confess the God of might. 

The heavenly Lamb in Jordan stood 
To sanctify the crystal flood ; 
Our sins with that baptismal dew 
Were washed in him who sin ne'er knew. 

A strange unusual power is shown — • 
The water-pots are ruddy grown, 
Whose waters, by command divine, 
Their nature change and run pure wine. 

To Christ, who did the Gentiles call, 
Be endless glory given by all ; 
To God the Father we repeat 
The same, and to the Paraclete. 

Note from Shipley:

54. Crudelis Herodes, Deum. Revised from Hostis Herodes impie. Vespers Breviary Hymn, by Sedulius. What makes thee, cruel Herod, shake? Based on the Primers of 1685 and 1706, but partly original. Evening Office, 1710. Author unknown, 49

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