The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Mary, That Mother Mild

Words: Maria gieng geschwind, from Köln Gesangbuch, 1623
Translation by Rev. George R. Woodward

Source: George Radcliffe Woodward, ed, Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), #245

1. Mary, that Mother mild,
Sped, with her heav’nly Child,
To-day from Bethlehem
Unto Hierusalem:
She to the temple there
Babe Jesus needs must bear;

2. Would at the Law’s behest,
Present her first-born blest,
And to the priest full fain
There offer turtles twain,
And thus redeem thereby
The world’s Redeemer high.

3. Hard by, at God’s command,
Good Symëon did stand
The old man fondly press’d
The Infant to his breast,—
The Christ expected long,
The burthen of his song.

4. “Lord, suffer now thy thrall
To fare in peace withal,
For why mine eyes have seen
My Saviour Christ,— I mean,
The Gentiles’ candle bright,
And Israel’s delight.

5. Set is this Child divine
A stumbling-block and sign,
For fall and rise again
Of many a Jew, certain:
And, Mother, for thy part,
A sword shall pierce thine heart.”

6. A prophetess then came,
And Anna was her name:
Of Mary’s gentle Boy,
Spake she with holy joy;—
E’en so, Christ-child, draw near,
Our souls in such-wise cheer.

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