The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Fair Gratitude! In Strain Sublime

Christmas Carol 1

Felicia Dorothea (nee Browne) Hemans (1793 - 1835)

1. Fair Gratitude! in strain sublime,
Swell high to heaven thy tuneful zeal;
And, hailing this auspicious time,
Kneel, Adoration! kneel!

For lo! the day, th' immortal day,
When Mercy's full, benignant ray,
Chased every gathering cloud away,
And poured the noon of light!
Rapture! be kindling, mounting, glowing,
While from thine eye the tear is flowing,
Pure, warm, and bright!

2. 'Twas on this day, oh, love divine!
The orient star's effulgence rose;
Then waked the moon, whose eye benign,
Shall never, never close!

Messiah! be thy Name adored,
Eternal, high, redeeming Lord!
By grateful worlds be anthems poured --
Emanuel! Prince of Peace!
This day, from Heaven's empyreal dwelling,
Harp, lyre, and voice, in concert swelling,
Bade discord cease!

3. Wake the loud paean, tune the voice,
Children of Heaven and sons of earth!
Seraphs and men! exult, rejoice,
To bless the Saviour's birth!

Devotion! light thy purest fire!
Transport! on cherub-wing aspire!
Praise! wake to him thy golden lyre,
Strike every thrilling chord!
While, at the ark of mercy kneeling,
We own thy grace, reviving, healing,
Redeemer! Lord!

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