Bethlehem, of noblest cities

Stuttgart. C.F.Witt, Psalmodia Sacra (1715)

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Bethlehem of noblest cities
none can once with thee compare;
thou alone the Lord from heaven
didst for us incarnate bear.

Fairer than the sun at morning
was the star that told His birth,
to the lands their God announcing,
hid beneath a form of earth.

By its lambent beauty guided,
see the eastern kings appear;
see them bend, their gifts to offer,
gifts of incense, gold and myrrh.

Solemn things of mystic meaning!
Incense doth the God disclose;
gold a royal child proclaimeth;
myrrh a future tomb foreshows.

Holy Jesu, in thy brightness
to the gentile world display’d.
with the Father and the Spirit,
endless praise to Thee be paid. Amen.

Aurelius Prudentius, tr. E.Caswall ((1814-1878)

Added: 31 December 2020

Organ: Little Waldingfield