The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Ye Patriarchs And Ancient Sires

Words: Vos ante Christi tempora, Charles Coffin (1676-1749)
Translation by J. Chandler and B. H. Kennedy

For Septuagesima

Source: George Radcliffe Woodward, ed, Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), # 41

1. Ye patriarchs and ancient sires,
Of saintly men ye white-robed quires,
Who saw, ere Christ was born, his day,
And walk’d with God a perfect way;

2. Pilgrim of Ur, submissive still
In all things to the heavenly will,
And ye, great chieftains of his race,
Sons of his faith, and heirs of grace:

3. O how can words of equal worth
The wonders of your faith set forth,
Or tell of all your panting sighs,
Which hope uplifted to the skies?

4. Strangers and pilgrims here below,
Ye deem’d the world an empty show,
And, resting on God’s promise sure,
Ye sought a home that should endure.

5. So wean us, Lord, from things we see,
And fix our hopes on heav’n and thee,
That high o’er earth our souls may rise,
With thee conversing in the skies,

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