The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Carol of the Star

A Poem For The Epiphany

Words: The Right Reverend Charles William Stubbs, D.D. (September 3, 1845 – May 4, 1912)
Dean of Ely, Bishop of Truro
From Charles William Stubbs, Bryhtnoth's Prayer and Other Poems (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1899), pp. 11-13.

Inspired by the poem "Christ" by Cynewulf circa A.D. 750.
As found in The Exeter Book.

This poem was the basis for the carol The Carol of the Star, words altered and set to music by T. Tertius Noble.

Music: "The Carol of the Star," Op. 13, No. 2 by T. Tertius Noble

Eala Earendel*
Engla beorhtast.”

*Earendel, the mythical name of the Star of Bethlehem.

I. They came three Kings who rode apace,
To Bethlem town by God's good grace:
          Hail Earendel,
          Brightest of Angels!
Pardie! It was a duteous thing,
Wise men to worship childë King:
          Godlight be with us,
          Hail Earendel!

II. They gave Him gifts of far-brought things,
Of Recells,* Myrrh, and Gold of Kings.
          Hail Earendel,
          Brightest of Angels!
And setten there in strawy tent,
Their mystic signs of Orient:
          Godlight be with us,
          Hail Earendel!

III. The Gold and Frankincense and Myrrh
For King, for Priest, for digne Martyr.
          Hail Earendel,
          Brightest of Angels!
Upon the great Good Friday morn
Is't Crown of Gold or Crown of Thorn?
          Godlight be with us,
          Hail Earendel!

IV. From Calvary's Tree the Priestly hands
Are stretched in blessing o'er the lands:
          Hail Earendel,
          Brightest of Angels!
In Garden tomb His tired limbs sleep.
Bring Myrrh and Spices, Vigil keep:
          Godlight be with us,
          Hail Earendel!

V. O hymn we then these Orient Kings,
Who brought for Him their offerings:
          Hail Earendel,
          Brightest of Angels!
And grant in Holy Mystery
Ourselves His Sacrifice may be.
          Godlight be with us,
          Hail Earendel!

* S. Mark ii. 11 in the Anglo-Saxon MS. Of the Gospel, A.D. 995.

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