The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Why, Impious Herod, Shouldst Thou Fear

Words: "Hostis Herodis Impie" from "Paean Alphabeticus de Cristo," Sedulius
Translated from Latin to English by Percy Dearmer in The English Hymnal (London: Oxford University Press, 1906), #38, p. 63.

Music: "St. Venantius," Rouen church melody
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

1. Why, impious Herod, shouldst thou fear
Because the Christ is come so near?
He Who doth heavenly kingdoms grant
Thine earthly realm can never want.

2. Lo, sages from the East are gone
To where the star hath newly shone:
Led on by light to Light they press,
And by their gifts their God confess.

3. The Lamb of God is manifest
Again in Jordan’s water blest,
And He Who sin had never known
By washing hath our sins undone.

4. Yet He that ruleth everything
Can change the nature of the spring,
And gives at Cana this for sign—
The water reddens into wine.

5. Then glory, Lord, to Thee we pay
For thine Epiphany today;
All glory through eternity
To Father, Son, and Spirit be.


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