The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Why, Cruel Herod, Dost Thou Fear

For The Weeks After Epiphany

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

Translation:  Provost F. C. Husenbeth

Source: Orby Shipley, Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year. Vol. 1. (London and New York: Burns and Oates, 1884), p. 52.

Why, cruel Herod, dost thou fear, 
Lest our great God and king appear 
He who can heavenly crowns bestow 
Comes not to seize thy throne below. 

	The Wise-men followed that bright star, 
Which shone to them in realms afar ; 
While light itself by light they seek, 
Their gifts, their faith and love bespeak. 

	The heavenly Lamb the waters lave, 
He sanctifies the crystal wave ; 
And he, whom sin could never stain, 
Bids none upon our souls remain. 

	Behold a new display of might, 
The pallid waters redden bright ; 
The mandate for the change once heard, 
Wine flows obedient at the word. 

	Jesus, to Gentile kings displayed, 
Glory to thee and praise be paid, 
With Father and with Holy Ghost, 
Enthroned above the heavenly host 

Note from Shipley:

57. Crudelis Herodes, Deum. Revised from Hostis Herodes impie. Vespers Breviary Hymn, by Sedulius. Why, cruel Herod, dost thou fear, Provost Husenbeth, 52

Hymns on this site with the same first line:

A fifth hymn with this same first line was posted on a website, but without attribution. Since it may be under copyright, it is not posted here. See: The Epiphany of Our Lord at the blog Knocking Everywhere.

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