The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

How Lovely Now The Morning-star

For Christmas

Words: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, Philipp Nicolai, 1597;
Translation: Francis Elizabeth Cox

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: Francis Elizabeth Cox, Hymns from the German. Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged. (London: Rivingtons, 1864), Hymn #1, pp. 3-9.

This is the first hymn with this title in this volume, both based on Nicoli's Wie Schön Leuchtet der Morgenstern.
Compare: How Lovely Now The Morning Star

O speak good of the Lord, all ye Works of His, in all Places of His Dominion: praise thou the Lord, O my Soul. Ps. ciii. 22.

1. How lovely now the morning-star
In twilight sky bright gleams afar,
     While Night her curtain raiseth;
Each creature hails, with ravished sight,
The glories of returning light,
     And God its Maker praiseth:
          Both far, And near,
All things living Thanks are giving,
          There high soaring,
Here through earth's wide field adoring.

2. Then haste, my Soul, thy notes to raise,
Nor spare in thy Redeemer's Praise
     To pour thy due Oblation;
For glory, Lord, to Thee belongs,
Thy Praise resounds in grateful songs,
     With pious emulation:
          Joy rings Glad strings:
Voices sounding, Hearts rebounding,
          Thus all Nature
Hymns Thy fame, O great Creator.

3. Unconscious, I securely slept,
Now saw the cruel foes which kept
     Close watch about my slumber;
Though evil spirits, through the night,
With hellish craft and watchful spite,
     Came round me without number;
          Whole hands In bands,
Mischief brewing For my ruin,
          Had enslaved me,
Hadst not Thou stood by and saved me.

4. For, Jesus, Thou with saving Power,
Wast near me in that threatening hour,
     And warded off their fury;
And I reposed in quiet sleep,
Whilst Thou unwearied watch didst keep;
     To Thee all Praise and Glory!
          My heart's Best part
Upward spring, Loudly singing,
          Shall adore Thee,
While on earth I walk before Thee.

5. This day my Fortress, Lord, abide,
Now ope Thy Gates of Mercy wide,
     Within their shelter place me;
My Castle and my Rock Thou art,
O let no foeman's treacherous dart
     From Thee, my Stronghold, chase me.
          Help, Lord, Afford!
Near me tarry, Blows to parry,
          While around me
Sword and arrow sore confound me.

6. Pour down Thy grace in cheering streams,
And warm my heart with Mercy's beams,
From heaven, Thy Throne of Beauty;
Let Thy Good Spirit guide my will,
That I, whate'er my station, still
May seek my Joy in Duty:
Send Light, And Might,
That each measure, Scheme and pleasure,
Heavenward tending,
Still in Thee may find its ending.

7. Keep grief, if this may be, away, --
If not, Thy Will be done, I saw,
     My choice to Thine resigning;
O come, and like the morning dew,
Refresh my heart, and make it new,
     That I may, unrepining,
          Bear cross, and Loss,
Till that morrow Chase all sorrow,
          When upraised
Where Thy Name is ever praised.

8. Meanwhile, my heart, both sing and leap,
Mid cross and loss good courage keep,
     To Heaven's bright Gate you haste;
Then lay desponding care aside,
God ever thus His Own hath tried,
     And those He loves doth chasten;
          Hope still, Midst ill,
Calm though grieving, Firm believing
Is the road to sure Salvation.

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