The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Why, Cruel Herod, Why In Fear

For Epiphany, at Vespers

Words: Crudelis Herodes, Deum

Translation by Jame Aitken Johnston
This is based upon older translations.

Source: The English Hymnal, (Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1852, and later editions), p. 59.

WHY, cruel Herod, why in fear,
As king to reign that God comes here?
He takes not earthly realms away,
He gives the crown that lasts for aye.

Led by the star which rul'd their sight,
To seek and find the Lord of Light
The wise men came, and from their store
With gifts th' Incarnate God adore.

Th' Incarnate God the heav'ns proclaim,
When to the laver pure He came,
Sins not His own to wash away,
And healing grace to us convey.

At Cana's feast His power first shewn,
Th' Incarnate God the waters own;
Pour'd forth at His command divine,
The blushing spring is chang'd to wine.

Now unto Him, th' Incarnate Son,
By His Epiphany made known,
With God the Father glory be,
And Holy Ghost eternally.

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