The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Carol XII. The Sun of Righteousness

 

How Glorious in the Morning Sun

For Christmas

Words: Anonymous.

Music: Handel

Source: Christmas Carols, or Sacred Songs, Suited to the Festival of our Lord's Nativity (London: John William Parker, 1833), pp. 60-63.

 

THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

" Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings."—Malachi iv. 2.

How glorious is the morning sun,
When forth in bright array 
He goes his joyous course to run 
Through heaven's resplendent way !

How glorious, when the storms, that sway'd
The sceptre of the night, 
Before the day's glad regent fade, 
Pierc'd by the shafts of light!

The mist, that hung the valley o'er,
Is up the mountain roll'd, 
And vale and mountain, sea and shore, 
Are radiant all with gold.

The flocks, from fear of nightly ill
Of storm and tempest freed, 
Come forth beside the waters still, 
In meadows green to feed.

Bright to the sun the woodland screen,
And garden's pleasant bower, 
Shew their fresh leaves of glossy green, 
And spread the bursting flower.

The little birds, that couch'd the head
Beneath the dripping wing, 
From plumage to the morn outspread 
The glittering moisture fling:

And as the hedge-row shroud they keep, 
Or perch'd on blossom'd spray, 
Or the clear sky-ascending steep, 
Sing loud their carol gay.

And so didst Thou, whose name to bless 
Thy Church her carols sings ; 
Arise, thou Sun of righteousness, 
With healing in thy wings.

Then lust, and lust-born sin, and death 
Sin-born, their sway resign'd; 
And superstition's baleful breath, 
Dark midnight of the mind.

Touch'd by thy radiance, nature show'd
Thy genial Spirit's might, 
As at the first with light she glow'd, 
When Thou proclaim'dst " Be, light!"

Thy pleasant plants beneath thy rays 
New-born were seen to blow, 
As form'd in earth's primeval days 
In paradise to grow.

Thy sheep, the streams of peace beside,
Safe in thy fostering care, 
Went in and out with Thee to guide, 
And still found pasture there.

Nor fail'd there many a tuneful tongue,
In air or lowly brake, 
To welcome Thee with joyous song, 
Who bad'st their rapture wake;

Spite of the cross to welcome Thee,
Spite of the lion's roar ; 
And Christ the incarnate Deity 
With hymns of joy adore.

Still the glad song of old begun 
Thy Church unceasing sings, 
To Thee, of righteousness the Sun, 
With healing in thy wings.

Accept the song in heav'n thy height,
And bless the festal lay, 
Which thus to Thee, true Light of Light,
And God of God, we pay !

Sheet Music from Source: Christmas Carols, or Sacred Songs, Suited to the Festival of our Lord's Nativity (London: John William Parker, 1833), pp. 62-63.

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