The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Bethlehem Hath Opened Eden

For Christmas

Words: Τήν Έδέμ Βηδλεέμ ήνοιξε, δεύτε ίδωμεν
A Poem of S. Romanus the Melodist, VI Century.
Translation by William Chatterton Dix

Music: Not Stated

Source: Rev. Orby Shipley, ed., Lyra Messianica: Hymns and Verses on the Life of Christ (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1864), p. 102.

1. Bethlehem hath opened Eden,
     Come! let us behold:
Sweetness we have found, once hidden,
     Pearl of Price untold;
Gifts of Paradise, all precious,
Stored within the Cave refresh us.

2. There th' unwatered Root appearing
     Blooms in Pardon free;
Christians enter, nothing fearing,
     And the Wonder see:
There the undug Well behold
David thirsted for of old.

3. Now the Maid her Infant bearing
     Hasten we to greet;
He ere worlds the Godhead sharing,
     Little Child so sweet,
Born within this lowly place,
Stays the thirst of Adam's race.

Editor's Note:

Also found in Bernhard Pick, ed., Hymns and Poetry of the Eastern Church (New York: Eaton & Mains, 1908), pp. 131-132. Mr. Pick also had this biographical note concerning Romanus:

Romanus, deacon in Berytus, afterward priest in Constantinople, was one of the most original and fruitful among the older poets. There is a difference of opinion among scholars concerning the time in which he lived ; the seventh century is probably the correct date.

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