The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Yesterday, With Exultation

Hymn for St. Stephen
See: Hymns to St Stephen

Words: Heri mundus exultavit, Adam of S. Victor (d. 1192), with notes
Translation by John Mason Neale

Music: Not Stated
Meter: 8,8,7,8,8,7

Source: Rev. John Mason Neale, Hymns of the Eastern Church (London: J. T. Hayes, 1862, 1st Edition), pp. 8-10.

1. Yesterday, with exultation
Joined the world in celebration
    Of her promised Saviourís birth:
Yesterday the Angel nation
Pour'd the strains of jubilation
    Oíer the Monarch born on earth.

2. But to-day, oíer death victorious,
By his faith and actions glorious,
    By his miracles renowned,
Dared the Deacon Protomartyr
Earthly life for Heavín to barter,
    Faithful midst the faithless found.

3. Forward, champion, in thy quarrel!
Certain of a certain laurel,
    Holy Stephen, persevere!
Perjur'd witnesses confounding,
Satanís Synagogue astounding
    By thy doctrine true and clear.

4. Lo! in Heavín thy Witness liveth;
Bright and faithful proof He giveth
    Of His Martyrís full success:
Thou by name a Crown impliest;
Meetly then in pangs thou diest
    For the Crown of Righteousness!

5. For a crown that fadeth never,
Bear the torturerís brief endeavour,
    Victory waits to end the strife.
Death shall be thy birthís beginning,
And lifeís losing be the winning
    Of a true and better life.

6. Whom the HOLY GHOST endueth,
Whom celestial light imbueth,
    Stephen penetrates the skies:
There GODís fullest glory viewing,
There his victor strength renewing,
    For his near reward he sighs.

7. See, as Jewish foes invade thee,
See, how JESUS stands to aid thee:
    Stands, to guard His championís death!
Cry that opened Heavín is shown thee:
Cry that JESUS waits to own thee:
    Cry it with thy latest breath!

8.As the dying Martyr kneeleth,
For his murderers he appealeth,
And his prayer their pardon sealeth,
    For their madness grieving sore;
Then in CHRIST he sleepeth sweetly,
Who His pattern kept completely,
And with CHRIST he reigneth meetly,
    Martyr first-fruits, evermore!

Sheet Music from Thomas Helmore and Thomas Morley, eds., Music of the Appendix to the Hymnal Noted. (Novello, Ewer & Co., No Date, ca. 1870), Tune #128, p. 138.

Tune_128.jpg (47503 bytes)

    Note: This hymn only occurs in Neale's First Edition, and is omitted from his Second and Third editions. However this hymn occurs in an appendix of the Fourth Edition edited by Very Rev. Stephen Georgeson Hatherly, Mus. B., Archpriest of the Patriarchal ∆cumenical Throne.

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