The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Why, Ruthless King, This Frantic Fear

For Epiphany, at Vespers

Words: Crudelis Herodes, Deum

Source: William John Copeland, Hymns for the Week and Hymns for the Seasons (W.J. Cleaver, 1848 ), p. 70.

Why, ruthless king, this frantic fear,
Thy God should come, thy King appear ?
He takes not earthly crowns away,
Who crowns bestows that ne'er decay.

Those Eastern Kings, they saw from far,
And followed on His guiding Star;
By light their way to Light they trod,
And hail'd with incense-gifts their God.

Yon Heavenly Lamb, Whose brows abide
The laver of that crystal tide;
He bears what ne'er He bare within,
Cleansing the streams to cleanse our sin.

And, lo, what power unknown is there!
E'en now the waves deep . crimson wear,
The water, chang'd at His command,
Rows blood-red wine beneath His Hand.

Jesu, be Thou for ever blest,
Who to the Gentiles manifest,
With Father, and with Spirit pure,
Art God, while endless worlds endure.

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