The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Dayspring from on High

Advent

Words: J. Franck, 1653.
Trans. Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)

See: Christmas Poetry of Catherine Winkworth

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

Ye heavens, oh haste your dews to shed
Ye clouds, rain gladness on our head,
Thou earth, behold the time of grace,
And blossom forth in righteousness!

O living Sun, with joy break forth,
And pierce the gloomy clefts of earth:
Behold, the mountains melt away
Like wax beneath Thine ardent ray!

O Life-dew of the Churches, come,
And bid this arid desert bloom!
The sorrows of Thy people see,
And take our human flesh on Thee.

Refresh the parch'd and drooping mind,
The broken limb in mercy bind,
Us sinners from our guilt release,
And fill us with Thy heavenly peace.

O wonder! night no more is night!
Comes then at last the long'd for light?
Ah yes, Thou shinest, O true Sun,
In whom are God and man made one!

Note: "The hymns in this series have been chosen from various sources, most of them being such as would be found in any standard collection. The greater number, however, are taken from [Christian Karl Josias] Bunsen's 'Versuch eines allgemeinen Gesang und Gebet buchs'  [1833]..."

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