The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Linquunt tecta Magi Principis urbis

For Epiphany

Words: Charles Coffin (1676-1749), from the Paris Breviary, 1736

Source: Carolo Coffin, Hymni Sacri (Paris: Usuum Parisiensium, 1736), pp. 40-42.

    Linquunt tecta Magi Principis urbis,
Et parvę cupidis mœnia Bethlem
Votis pręcipiunt; jamque sub imo 
Spe subnixa fīdes corde triumphat. 

    O qui lętitię sensus, ut illis 
Signans rursus iter stella refulsit, 
Incumbensque domo lampade pronā 
Infantem exhibuit matris in ulnis!

    Non hīc splendet ebur, non micat aurum:
Non velat rutilans purpura corpus: 
Horrens hīc stabulum, regia; nudum 
Hīc pręsepe, thronus; purpura, panni.

    Reges pompa alios dives adornet: 
Regnantem meliłs se probat ipse 
In vili paleā, paupere cultu,
Flectens imperio corda potenti.

    Ad cunas humiles, poplite curvo, 
Pręsens in Puero numen adorant: 
Et nos ad Puerum, digna propago, 
Patrum plena fide corda feramus.

    Regi castus amor porrigat aurum; 
Castigata homini corpora, myrrham; 
Instar thuris erunt vota precesque: 
Illo thure Deum ritč fatemur.

    Qui sons luminis est, gloria Patrģ: 
Qui miro recreas lumine Gentes, 
Ęqualis tibi sit gloria, Nate: 
Amborum similis laus sit Amori.

Sheet Music from Rev. Richard R. Chope, Carols For Use In Church (London: William Clowes & Sons, 1894), Carol #111
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

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Sheet Music by Chas. Steggall from J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #82, p. 127.

Sheet Music: "Fides" by Miss Davis from George C. Martin, ed., The Book Of Common Praise (Oxford: University Press, 1909), #98, p. 117

Sheet Music from Thomas Helmore and Thomas Morley, eds., Music of the Appendix to the Hymnal Noted. Containing nearly 250 Tunes for Long, Common, Short, and Peculiar Metres; together with several Gregorian Hymns and Antiphons; the Eight Gregorian Tones; the music of the Reproaches; the Seven Last Words; and Litany Tunes; &c. Second Edition. (Novello, Ewer & Co., No Date, ca. 1870), #132, p. 142. Also known as "The Tune Book as Used at St. Albans, Holborn."

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Note from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology. Second Revised Edition with New Supplement. (1892, 1907), p. 677.

Linquunt tecta Magi principis urbis. Charles Coffin. [Epiphany.] Included in the Paris Breviary, 1736, for Lauds on the feast of the Epiphany, and again in his Hymni Sacri, 1736, p. 40. It is also in Cardinal Newman's Hymni Ecclesiae, 1838 and 1805.

Tr. as :—

1. Lo, The Pilgrim Magi Leave Their Royal Halls By J. D. Chambers, in his Lauda Syon, 1857, p. 110. It was repeated in the People's Hymnal, 1867; the Hymnary, 1872, and others. And Version 2, Lo, The Pilgrim Magi Leave Their Royal Halls.

2. From Princely Walls in Eastern Pomp Array'd By I. Williams, in the British Magazine, 1835, and Hymns Translated from the Parisian Breviary, 1839.

3. The Princely City Passing By By J. C. Earle, in O. Shipley's Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year, 1884. [J. J.]

Editor's Note:

This Latin hymn is repeated in a number of other breviaries and sources including Breviarium Montalbanense (1842), Breviarium Tolosanum (1777), Breviarium ad usum Congregationis sancti Mauri (1787), and Weinzierl's Hymni sacri, quos ex plurium Galliae dioecesium breviariis collegit (1820), among others.

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