The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A Wondrous Child, The Virgin-born

For Christmas

Words: “Der Tag der ist so freudenreich,” a translation by Martin Luther of the Latin hymn Dies est lζtitiζ

Translation of verses 2 and 1 by A. T. Russell

Source: Arthur T. Russell, Psalms and Hymns (Cambridge: John Deighton, 1851), No. 49. Tune 23: “Der Tag der ist.”

A wondrous child, the Virgin-born,
….Now to us is given,
Who for His poor that meekly mourn,
….Comfort brings from heaven.
But for this blessed infant's birth,
Despair had overspread the earth:
….He is our salvation.
..For thine incarnation, we,
..Jesu! Owe ourselves to Thee, –
Saved from condemnation.

How joyous is this holy day,
….Praise to God's name bringing!
Christ speeds from heaven to earth his way:
….Of His love be singing.
This, this is great humility
God showeth from His throne on high!
….He our nature taketh!
..Undefiled our sins He bears:
..Whilst a servant's form He wears,
….Us He glorious maketh.

Editor's Note:

According to Dr. John Julian, other translations of the German hymn include (1) "Hail To The Day ! So Rich In Joy," by Miss Fry, 1845, p. 13, and (2) "To Us The Promised Child Is Born !," a translation of stanza ii by Dr. H. Mills, 1856, p. 274.

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