The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Carol of the Star

A Carol For The Epiphany

Words: The Right Reverend Charles William Stubbs, D.D. (September 3, 1845 May 4, 1912)
Dean of Ely, Bishop of Truro
From Charles William Stubbs, Bryhtnoth's Prayer and Other Poems (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1899), pp. 11-13.

Inspired by the poem "Christ" by Cynewulf circa A.D. 750.
As found in The Exeter Book.

The poem The Carol of the Star was the basis for this carol.

Music: "The Carol of the Star," Op. 13, No. 2 by T. Tertius Noble

Eala Earendel*
Engla beorhtast.

*Earendel, the mythical name of the Star of Bethlehem.

1. They came three Kings who rode a-pace,
To Bethlem town by God's good grace.
     Hail Earendel
     God-love be with us!
In sooth it was a duteous thing,
Wise men to worship childe King:
     God-love be with us,
     Hail Earendel!

2. They gave Him gifts of far-brought things,
Of Recells,* Myrrh, and Gold of Kings,
     Hail Earendel
     God-love be with us!
And setten there in strawy tent,
Their mystic signs of Orient:
     God-love be with us,
     Hail Earendel!

3. The Gold and Frankincense and Myrrh
For King, for Priest, for digne Martyr.
     Hail Earendel
     God-love be with us!
Upon the great Good Friday morn
Is't Crown of Gold or Crown of Thorn?
     God-love be with us,
     Hail Earendel!

4. From Calvary's Tree the Priestly hands
Are stretched in blessing o'er the lands:
     Hail Earendel
     God-love be with us!
In Garden tomb His tired limbs sleep,
Bring Myrrh and Spices, Vigil keep:
     God-love be with us,
     Hail Earendel!

5. O hymn we then these Orient Kings,
Who brought for Him their offerings:
     Hail Earendel
     God-love be with us!
And grant in Holy Mystery
Ourselves His sacrifice may be.
     God-love be with us,
     Hail Earendel!



*St. Mark ii. 11 in the Anglo-Saxon MS. of the Gospel, 995 A.D.


Dr. Erik Routley wrote that among the carols performed at the 1911 Truro Cathedral's Festival of Lessons and Carols was this carol, based on Cynewulf's Christ (circa 750 A.D.). For additional information, see the notes under O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Version 1 and Christ by Cynewulf.

Rev. Stubbs was Dean of Ely 1894 to 1906 when he was appointed the fourth Bishop of Truro. He died at Truro on May 4, 1912.

Sheet Music Copyright 1899

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Carol Of The Star -- T_Tertius Noble

Sincere thanks to Andrew Bainbridge, Organist, St David's Anglican Cathedral, Hobart (Tasmania), who provided this scan of the sheet music from which the words were obtained.

Sheet Music from Edgar Pettman, ed., The Westminster Carol Book (London: Houghton & Co., 1899), Carol #30, pp. 11-13.

Pettman_30a-The_Carol_Of_The_Star.jpg (467643 bytes) Pettman_30b-The_Carol_Of_The_Star.jpg (345191 bytes)

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