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.

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

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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