The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

God With Us

Christmas

Words: Paul Gerhardt.
Trans. Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)

See: Christmas Poetry of Catherine Winkworth

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

    Blessed Jesus! This
    Thy lowly manger is
The Paradise where oft my soul would feed:
    Here is the place, my Lord,
    Where lies the Eternal Word
Clothed with our flesh, made like to us indeed.

    For He whose mighty sway
    The winds and seas obey,
Submits to serve, and stoops to those who sin;
    The glorious Son of God
    Doth bear the mortal load
Of earth and dust, like us and all our kin.

    For thus, O God Supreme,
    Wilt Thou our flesh redeem,
And rise it to Thy throne o'er every height:
    Eternal Strength, here Thou
    To brotherhood dost bow
With transient things that pass like mists of night.

    Thy glory and Thy joy
    All woe and grief destroy;
Thou, Heavenly Treasure, dost all wealth restore!
    Thou deep and living Well!
    Thou great Immanuel
Dost conquer sin and death for evermore!

    Then come, whoe'er thou art
    O poor desponding heart,
Take courage now, let this thy fears dispel,
    That since His Son most dear
    Thy God hath given thee here,
It cannot be but God doth love thee well.

    How often dost thou think
    Thou thou must surely sink,
That hope and comfort are no more for thee;
    Come hither then and gaze
    Upon this Infant's face,
And here the love of God incarnate see.

    Ah now the blessed door
    Stands open evermore
To all the joys of this world and the next:
    This Babe will be our Friend,
    And quickly make an end
    Of all that faithful hearts long time hath vex'd.

    Then, earth, we care no more
    To seek thy richest store,
If but this treasure will be still our own;
    And he who holds it fast,
    Till all this life is past,
Our Lord will crown with joy before His throne.

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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