The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When Jordan Hushed His Waters Still

Alternate Title: The Prince of Salem

For Christmas Eve

When Jordan Hushed His Waters Still - Version 2
 When Jordan Hushed His Waters Still  - Version 3

Words: Thomas Campbell (1777-1844)

Music: See Below.

Meter: L. M.

Source: J. Logie Robertson, ed., The Complete Poetical Works of Thomas Campbell (London: Henry Frowde, Oxford University Press, 1907), pp. 247-248.

Also occurs in: The Book of Christmas Hymns (London: T. Nelson and Sons, 1868), pp. 15-16, with all eight verses.

1. When Jordan hushed his waters still,
And silence slept on Zion's hill,
When Bethlehem's shepherds, thro' the night,
Watched o'er their flocks by starry light --

2. Hark! from the midnight hills around
A voice of more than mortal sound
In distant hallelujahs stole,
Wild murm'ring, on the raptured soul.

3. Then swift to every startled eye
New streams of glory gild the sky;
Heaven burst her azure gates to pour
Her spirits to the midnight hour.

4. On wheels of light and wings of flame,
The glorious hosts of Zion came.
High heaven with songs of triumph rung,
While thus they struck their harps and sung --

5. 'O Zion, lift thy raptured eye,
The long
-expected hour is nigh --
The joys of Nature rise again --
The Prince of Salem comes to reign!

6. 'See, Mercy from her golden urn
Pours a rich stream to them that mourn;
Behold, she binds with tender care
The bleeding bosom of despair.--

7. 'He comes! to cheer the trembling heart --
Night and her spectres pale
Again the day-star gilds the gloom --
Again the bowers of Eden bloom!

8. 'Oh, Zion, lift thy raptured eye,
The long-expected hour is nigh --
The joys of Nature rise again,
The Prince of Salem comes to reign!'

Sheet Music Arrangement by A. H. Palmer (Boson: J. M. Russell, 1885)

#463 of Russell's Musical Library - Sacred.
Source: Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, America Singing: Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets.
(American Memory, Performing Arts-Music)

Montgomery's Note:

This hymn on the Advent was composed when the author was only sixteen years of age. Some of its phrases reappear in his later collection, The Pleasures of Hope.

Editor's Note:

A shorter version two 16-line verses occurs in The Poetical Works of Thomas Campbell, with a prefatory notice, biographical and critical by J. Hogben.(1885), pp. 40-41. The shorter version is also in The Poems of Thomas Campbell (1885). Note the different titles of these two collections.

Note from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1892, 1907):

Campbell, Thomas, the Poet, has little in common with hymnody. A few of his pieces, including,"When Jordan hushed its waters still," are found in a limited number of hymnals. His poetical works, The Pleasures of Hope, Gertrude of Wyoming, and others, have been reprinted several times. He was b. at Glasgow, 1777; d. at Boulogne, 1844, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

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