The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When Closing Was The Night Of Earth

Words: R. F. Littledale (1833-1890)

For Mary, The Mother of Jesus

Source: George Radcliffe Woodward, ed, Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), # 217

1. When closing was the night of earth,
A Ray from purest Star had birth,
Proceeding from the sky:
In load of fleshly garments drest,
A Babe, he hung on Mary’s breast,
The Son of God most high.

2. Of old in Gideon’s fleece oreshow’d,
And in the unburnt bush that glow’d,
Himself he signified:
Away the letter’s veil is roll’d,
The old law’s mystery is told,
In Jesu’s wounded side.

3. The new law’s mighty Sacraments,
Which from the shameful tree’s offence
And from Christ’s Passion spring,
Tell us why Jeremiah wail’d,
And why Esalas’ spirit fail’d,
And wherefore died the King.

4. O Virgin, Star that hast no peer,
O Virgin, Light that shinest clear,
Before thine Offspring fall:
O tell him of the side, the scourge,
The thorns and nails, and gently urge
Such pleadings for us all.

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