The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Why, Impious Herod, Vainly Fear

Words: "Hostis Herodis Impie" from "Paean Alphabeticus de Cristo," Sedulius
Translation by Rev. John Mason Neale

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

Source: George Radcliffe Woodward, ed., Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), # 36

1. Why, impious Herod, vainly fear
That Christ the Saviour cometh here?
He takes not earthly realms away,
Who gives the crown that lasts for aye.

2. To greet his birth the Magi went,
Led by the star before them sent:
Called on by light, to Light they press’d,
And by their gifts their God confess’d.

3. In holy Jordan’s purest wave
The heavenly Lamb vouchsafed to lave;
That he, to whom was sin unknown,
Might cleanse his people from their own.

4. New miracle of power divine!
The water reddens into wine:
He spake the word, and pour’d the wave
In other streams than nature gave.

5. All glory, Lord, to thee we pay,
For thine Epiphany to-day;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

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