The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Make Thee Ready, As Best Thou Art Able

Words: Sophronius, Patriarch of Hierusalem (629),
Translation by George Radcliffe Woodward

 

Music: Setting of La speranza mi va consolano by Charles Wood
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Source: Charles Wood and George Ratcliffe Woodward, eds., An Italian Carol Book (London: The Faith Press, Ltd., 1920), #8

1. Make thee ready, as best thou art able,
    Little Bethlehem, Garnish the bed,
Tho' it be but a crib in a stable,
    Where the Infant may pillow his head,
    Where the Infant may pillow his head.

2. Type and shadow of yore are now ended:
    Lo the substance is come, as I ken:
Truth Incarnate to earth is descended,
    God hath pitched his tent among men.
    God hath pitched his tent among men.

3. He is past through the virginal portal:
    The Invisible doth not decline
To be found in the fashion of mortal,
    For to make human nature divine.
    For to make human nature divine.

4. Wherefore Adam and Eva, forgiven
    Their iniquity, cry, 'By the grace
And good-will of our Lord are we shriven:
    Seen of men, he doth ransom our race.'
    Seen of men, he doth ransom our race.'

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