The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

In The Ages Past and Distant

For Epiphany, "The Visit Of The Magi"

"In The Ages Past And Distant"

Words: William Chatterton Dix (1837-1865)

"Music by the Rev. A. D. Crake, B.A., late Chaplain of All Saints' School, Bloxham."

Source: W. Chatterton Dix, ed., Christmas Carols & Christmas Customs (No publisher, location or date; ca. 1870), #9, p. 2.

1. In the ages past and distant,
    When the time was well-nigh run,
Spake the Prophet, “ Lo ! a Virgin
    Shall conceive and bear a Son ! ”
Long they waited, all the weary
    Darkness on the mountains lay,
Till at length eternal Sunshine
    Came all night to chase away.

2. As a bridegroom from his chamber,
    Forth the Word Incarnate sped :
Lowly Infant in a manger,
    Lord of all the quick and dead ;
Yesterday, to-day, for ever,
    He, Eternal God, the same—
In His Mother's arms reposing,
    Or upon His throne of flame.

3. Who this Blessed Child will welcome?
    Who to heart will bid Him in ?
He whose soul is swept and garnished,
    He who none but Him would win :
O dear Child-Christ, make me like Thee,
    If I may some semblance gain
Of Thine own Divine Perfections,
    Through the mystery of Pain.

4. As I kneel before Thy Manger
    Soothe me with Thy Infant cries;
All around are Holy Angels
    Looking on with wondering eyes ;
Mary, Blessed Mother, tends Thee—
    Tends with love all but Divine ;
And if my poor love I offer,
    Thou wilt own it—yes, e'en mine.

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