The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

What Star Is This, With Beams So Bright


Words: Quĉ stella sole pulchrior, Charles Coffin (1676-1749), Paris Breviary, 1736

Translation: John Chandler

Source: Rev. John Chandler, The Hymns of the Primitive Church (London: John W. Parker, 1837), pp. 58-59.

What star is this, with beams so bright,
Which shame the sun's less radiant light ?
Tis sent to announce a new-born King,—
Glad tidings of our God to bring.

'Tis now fulfilled what God decreed,—
" From Jacob shall a star proceed:"
And lo! the Eastern sages stand,
To read in heaven the Lord's command.

While outward signs the star displays,
An inward light the Lord conveys,
And urges them, with force benign,
To seek the Giver of the sign.

True love can brook no dull delay,—
Through toils and dangers lies their way:
And yet their home, their friends, their all,
They leave at once, at God's high call.

Oh, while the star of heavenly grace
Invites us, Lord, to seek thy Tace,
May we no more that grace repel,
Or quench that light, which shines so well!

To God the Father, God the Son
And Holy Spirit, Three in One,
May every tongue and nation raise
An endless song of thankful praise!


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