The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Oh, For a Saint Like Thee

St. John The Evangelist's Day: At the Vespers.

Jesus answered and said, Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of? They say unto him, We are able. And He saith unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of My cup.—St. Matt. xx.

Latin Text: Sit qui rite canat te modo virgi

Source: Isaac Williams, Hymns Translated from the Parisian Breviary (London: J.G.F. & J. Rivington, 1839), pp. 69-71.

    Oh, for a saint like thee, 
To sing thy virgin purity! 
Sing thee Apostle, and unroll 
Thy heaven-taught truth's far-beaming scroll, 
Or link thee with the seers divine.— 
To sing thee martyr-saint, be mine. 

    For thou, for thou didst view 
That death of deaths, companion true! 
In spirit with thy Lord wert torn 
By racking cross, and piercing thorn; 
The only converseleft to thee, 
Th' high converse of that agony. 

    There, as in death He hung, 
His mantle soft on Thee He flung 
Of filial love, and nam'd thee son, 
When now that earthly tie was done; 
To thy tried faith, and spotless years 
Consign'd His Virgin-mother's tears. 

    Could holier charge be given? 
True mother of the Lord of Heaven, 
Hail'd mother by Himself to thee, 
And thou that mother's son as He! 
Call'd, as th' Immortal deign'd to die 
That loss of losses to supply! 

    And when His voice was fled, 
His lingering look on thee He shed; 
Thee, His belov'd disciple, taught 
His dying eye's mysterious thought. 
When from that blood-stain'd Mercy-throne 
To all the world His glory shone. 

    Friend of thy Lord, be mine 
My faltering step to match with thine; 
To follow onward to the goal 
Where love led on thy dauntless soul; 
Be mine, as thine, the blessing high, 
With Christ to live, with Christ to die. 

    Glory to Father, Son, 
And Spirit—Eternal Three in One. 
Lo! this the stedfast creed we bring 
Drawn from high Heaven's eternal spring.

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