The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Hark! A Gladsome Voice Is Thrilling

For Advent

Words: Vox clara ecce intonat, Ambrosian, 5th or 6th Century,
Translated by J. H. Newman and W. J. Blew

Source: George Radcliffe Woodward, ed., Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), #3

1. Hark! a gladsome voice is thrilling,
Earth’s dim pathways wildly shaking:
Lo! the ancient fane is filling
With the glow, for day is breaking;
Day is breaking, night-dreams vanish;
Christ is coming—gloom to banish.

2. Christ is coming! from thy prison,
Earth-bound spirit, spring with gladness!
Rising with the Star, new risen,
Health to shed on human sadness:
Lo! the Lamb descends from heaven:
Sinners, haste to be forgiven.

3. Yea! to grant a gracious guerdon,
Once again he comes in glory:
Mourners—freighted with your pardon,
His right hand he lifteth o’er ye:
Lord, when doom and death confound us,
Be thine arm of mercy round us.

4. To the Father, Son, and Spirit,
Glory, honour, power, be given:
Lord, to thine eternal merit
Praise be sung in earth and heaven:
Voice of Saints in concert blending,
Heard through ages never ending. Amen.

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