The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Desire of all Nations

Sunday After Christmas Day

Words: Paul Gerhardt, 1650.
Trans. Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)

See: Christmas Poetry of Catherine Winkworth

Source: Lyra Germanica: First Series, Songs for the Household, 1855

Behold, A Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

From the Gospel

Thee, O Immanuel, we praise,
The Prince of Life, and Fount of Grace,
The Morning Star, the Heavenly Flower,
The Virgin's Son, the Lord of Power.

With all Thy saints, Thee, Lord, we sing,
Praise, honour, thanks to Thee we bring,
That Thou, O long-expected guest,
Hast come at least to make us blest!

Since first the world began to be,
How many a heart hath long'd for Thee;
Long years our fathers hoped of old
Their eyes might yet Thy Light behold:

The prophets cried; "Ah, would He came
To break the fetters of our shame;
That help from Zion came to men,
Israel were glad, and prosper'd then!"

Now art Thou here; we know Thee now,
In lowly manger liest Thou;
A child, yet makest all things great,
Poor, yet is earth Thy robe of state.

From Thee alone all gladness flows,
Who yet shall bear such bitter woes;
Earth's light and comfort Thou shalt be,
Earth's light and comfort Thou shalt be,
Yet none shall watch to comfort Thee.

All heaven's are Thine, yet Thou dost come
To sojourn in a stranger's home;
Thou hangest on Thy mother's breast
Who art the joy of spirits blest.

Now fearless I can look on Thee,
From sin and grief Thou sett'st me free;
Thou bearest wrath, Thou conquerest Death,
Fear turns to joy Thy glance beneath.

Thou art my Head, my Lord Divine,
I am Thy member, wholly Thine,
And in Thy Spirit's strength would still
Serve Thee according to Thy will.

Thus will I sing Thy praises here
With joyful spirit year by year.
And they shall sound before Thy throne,
Where time nor number more are known.

Note: According to Winkworth, selected from Chevalier (Christian Karl Josias) Bunsen (1791-1860), ed., Versuch eines allgemeinen Gesang und Gebetbuchs (1833).

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