Why, Ruthless Herod, Why Should Fear

For Epiphany and Octave.

Words: Crudelis Herodes, Deum, by Sedulius.

Translation:  Very Rev. Prior James A. Dominic Aylward, Order of Preachers, 1843-1850.

Source: Orby Shipley, Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year. Vol. 1. (London and New York: Burns and Oates, 1884), p. 42.

Why, ruthless Herod, why should fear 
	Thus in thy jealous bosom rise ? 
He seizes not on kingdoms here 
	Who grants the kingdom of the skies. 

Forth sped the Magian kings, whilst bright 
	The star of mystery lured their view ; 
'Twas thus they sought the fount of light, 
	And owned him God with offerings due. 

Behold, the Lamb of heaven to-day 
	To touch the limpid wave goes down ; 
Thus cleansing us, he cleansed away 
	The guilt-spots that were not his own. 

Oh, wondrous power ; a conscious blush 
	Hath tinged the waters ruby-red ; 
From them he bade the wine-stream gush ; 
	The wine-stream gushed, the water fled. 

To thee, O Lord, be glory given, 
	Whose light so brightly shines to-day, 
And to the eternal Sire of heaven, 
	And to the Holy Ghost, for aye. 

Note from Shipley:

44. Crudelis Herodes, Deum. Revised from Hostis Herodes impie. Vespers Breviary Hymn, by Sedulius. Why, ruthless Herod, why should fear, Prior Aylward. 42


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