The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

How Bright Appears The Morning Star

Alternate Title: Of Spiritual Marriage

For Advent, For Epiphany

Words: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, Philipp Nicolai, 1597

Translation: Johann Christian Jacobi

Music: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, Philip Nicolai, 1599.
The melody is said to be from an older tune from Strasbourg, circa 1538.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML
Meter: 887 887 48 48

Source: Johann Christian Jacobi, Psalmodia Germanica; or, A Specimen of Divine Hymns Translated from the High Dutch. (London: J. Young, et. al., 1722), pp. 90-92; Second Edition, 1732, pp. 162-164, with sheet music.

1. How bright appears the Morning Star
With Grace and Truth beyond compare,
The Royal Root of Jessee?
O David's Son of Jacob's Line!
My Soul's Delight and Spouse Divine,
Thy Love can only bless me.
Precious, Gracious,
Fair and Glorious, e'er Victorious,
Thy my Treasure
Art beyond all Joy and Pleasure.

2. My choicest Pearl and precious Crown
God and the Virgin Mary's Son,
Thou King of endless Glory!
Thou art compar;d to Sharon's Flow'r,
Thy Gospel and its saving Pow'r
Transcends what's Transitory.
Lovely Lilly,
O Hosanna, Heav'nly Manna,
Thy sweet Flavour
Be mine everlasting Savour.

3. Thy Love so pow'rful and divine
Dart deep into this Heart of mine,
Thou brilliant Stone and Jewel!
Confirm me more and more to be
A Branch of Thee the living Tree
That Self may lose its Fewel.
Sighing, Dying
Is thy Creature, for in Nature
Is no Comfort
Without Thee my King and Comfort.

4. From God descends a Glance of Joy,
When thou with thy most gracious Eye,
Behold'st thy loving Creature
Immanuel! My sov'reign Good,
Thy Word, thy Spirit, Flesh and Blood
Renew my very Nature:
Grant me sweetly
Thine Embraces, that the Graces
Of Salvation
May root out all Depravation.

5. Thou Father from Eternity
In Mercy wast inclin'd to me,
Through thy most well-beloved;
Thy Son has chose me for his Bride
In this my Spouse I can confide,
My Love shall ne'er be moved.
O! This Bliss is
Of his giving, who's the Living,
Bread and Manna,
Ever will I sing Hosanna.

6. Tune all your Strings of Lute and Harp,
Resolve the Notes of Flat and Sharp
Into Celestial Concords,
That nothing may disturb my Frame,
Which is wrapt up in Jesus' Name,
The sweetest of all Comforts.
Ringing, Singing
Be your Praises, that the Phrases
Of your Duty
Please the Lord of Bliss and Beauty.

7. My Joy to all the World be known,
That my Beloved keeps his Throne
On Hills of Light and Glory.
He'll kindly bring me to that Place,
Where all the Wonders of his Grace
Shall lie disclos'd before me.
Amen! Amen!
Lord my Sov'reign! come and govern
All the Nations,
Come! I wait with great Impatience.

Sheet music from Psalmodia Germanica, 1722


Sheet music from Jacobi, Psalmodia Germanica, Second Edition, 1732

Jacobi_How_Bright-Psalm_Germ-II-1732-Music.jpg (138994 bytes)


There are a large number of translations of this beautiful hymn. See the notes under Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern.

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