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:  Rev. Professor Thomas J. Potter, All Hallows College, Dublin, 1857-1858.

Compare: Why, Cruel Herod, Dost Thou Fear. Very Rev. Provost F. C. Husenbeth, 1840-1841

Source: Orby Shipley, Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year. Vol. 1. (London and New York: Burns and Oates, 1884), p. 54-55.

Why, cruel Herod, dost thou fear 
Lest Christ should seize thy crown so dear ? 
He needeth not thy earthly throne 
Who heavenly kingdoms makes our own. 

The sages hastening from afar, 
With joy pursue their guiding star ; 
By its bright beams they seek the light, 
And humbly own the God of might. 

Behold, the spotless Lamb hath stood 
In Jordan's purifying flood ; 
And he, who sin's foul stains ne'er knew, 
Our sins hath washed with healing dew. 

A new and wondrous sign we see ; 
From her fixed laws doth nature flee ; 
And water, by command divine, 
Is quickly changed to ruddy wine. 

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

Note from Shipley:

60. Crudelis Herodes, Deum. Revised from Hostis Herodes impie. Vespers Breviary Hymn, by Sedulius. Why, cruel Herod, dost thou fear, Professor Potter. 54

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