The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A Hymn For Christmas Day1

Words: Jeremy Taylor, 1613-1667

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), p. 285.

Awake, my soul, and come away.
    Put on thy best array;
    Lest if thou longer stay
Thou lose some minutes of so blest a day.
                    Go run
And bid good-morrow to the sun;
Welcome his safe return
                    To Capricorn.
    And that great morn
    Wherein a God was born,
    Whose story none can tell
But He whose every word's a miracle.

    To-day Almightiness grew weak.
    The word itself was mute and could not speak.

That Jacob's star which made the sun
To dazzle if he durst look on,
Now mantled o'er in Bethlehem's night,
Borrowed a star to show him light.
He that begirt each zone,
To whom both poles are one,
Who grasped the Zodiac in His hand
And made it move or stand,
Is now by nature man,
By stature but a span;
Eternity is now grown short;
A kind is born without a court;
The water thirsts; the fountain's dry;
And life, being born, made apt to die.

Chorus. Then let our praises emulate and vie
    With His humility!
Since He's exiled from the skies
    That we may rise -
From low estate of men
Let's sing Him up again!
Each man wind up his heart
To bear a part
In that angelic choir and show
His glory high as He was low.
Let's sing towards men goodwill and charity,
    Peace upon earth, glory to God on high!
        Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Note from Rickert:

1. Festival Hymns. Return

Also found in A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885), pp. 134-5.

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