Why, Ruthless Herod, Why Should Fear
For Epiphany and Octave.
Words: Crudelis Herodes, Deum, by Sedulius.
Translation: Very Rev. Prior James A. Dominic Aylward, Order of Preachers, 1843-1850.
Source: Orby Shipley, Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year. Vol. 1. (London and New York: Burns and Oates, 1884), p. 42.
Why, ruthless Herod, why should fear Thus in thy jealous bosom rise ? He seizes not on kingdoms here Who grants the kingdom of the skies. Forth sped the Magian kings, whilst bright The star of mystery lured their view ; 'Twas thus they sought the fount of light, And owned him God with offerings due. Behold, the Lamb of heaven to-day To touch the limpid wave goes down ; Thus cleansing us, he cleansed away The guilt-spots that were not his own. Oh, wondrous power ; a conscious blush Hath tinged the waters ruby-red ; From them he bade the wine-stream gush ; The wine-stream gushed, the water fled. To thee, O Lord, be glory given, Whose light so brightly shines to-day, And to the eternal Sire of heaven, And to the Holy Ghost, for aye.
Note from Shipley:
44. Crudelis Herodes, Deum. Revised from Hostis Herodes impie. Vespers Breviary Hymn, by Sedulius. Why, ruthless Herod, why should fear, Prior Aylward. 42
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