The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When I View the Mother Holding

Words: Latin, trans. Rev. H. R. Bramley

Music: J. Barnby

Source: Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old, First Series (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., 1871), Carol #11

1. When I view the Mother holding
In her arms the heav’nly Boy,
Thousand blissful thoughts unfolding,
Melt my heart with sweetest joy, with sweetest joy.

2. With her babe the hours beguiling,
Mary’s soul in transport lives
God her Son upon her smiling,
Thousand, thousand kisses fondly gives, fondly gives.

3. As the sun his radiance flinging,
Shines upon the bright expanse,
So the Child to Mary clinging,
Doth her gentle heart, her gentle heart, entrance.

4. See the Virgin Mother beaming!
Jesus by her arms embraced,
Dew on softest roses gleaming
Violet with lily chaste, with lily chaste!

5. Each round other fondly twining,
Pours the shafts of mutual love,
Thick as flow’rs in meadows shining,
Countless as the stars above, as the stars above,

6. O may one such arrow flowing,
Sweetest Child, which Thou dost dart,
Through Thy Mother’s bosom going,
Blessed Jesu, pierce my heart, pierce my heart, Blessed Jesu.

Sheet Music from Bramley & Stainer

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Sheet Music by J. Barnby from Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol #539
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
Note that the Hutchins score set the quarter note to equal 46; at that pace, it played like a dirge (MIDI).
In the music above, the quarter note has been set to 92.

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