The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Forsaking All For The True Light


Words: Laurentius Laurenti, 1700.
Trans. Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)

See: Christmas Poetry of Catherine Winkworth

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

Is thy heart athirst to know
    That the King of heaven and earth
Deigns to dwell with man below,
    Yea hath stoop'd to mortal birth?
Search the Word with ceaseless care
Till thou find this treasure there.

With the sages from afar
    Journey on o'er sea and land,
Till thou see the Morning Star
    O'er thy heart unchanging stand,
Then shalt thou behold His face
Full of mercy, truth and grace.

For if Christ be born within,
    Soon that likeness shall appear
Which the heart had lost through sin,
    God's own image fair and clear,
And the soul serene and bright
Mirrors back His heavenly light.

Jesus, let me seek for nought,
    But that Thou shouldst dwell in me;
Let this only fill my thought,
    How I may grow liker Thee,
Through this early care and strife,
Through the calm eternal life.

With the wise who know Thee right,
    Though the world accounts them fools,
I will praise Thee day and night,
    I will order by Thy rules
All my life, that it may be
Fill'd with praise and love of Thee.

Note: "The hymns in this series have been chosen from various sources, most of them being such as would be found in any standard collection. The greater number, however, are taken from [Christian Karl Josias] Bunsen's 'Versuch eines allgemeinen Gesang und Gebet buchs'  [1833]..."

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