Tuesday, 26 December 2017

A Christmas hymn - Walafrid Strabo

Lumen Inclytum Refulget. 

Through the skies in glory streaming,
Is a star of brightest ray;
O'er the earth the radiant wonder
Drives the shades of night away.

Lo! the Leader of Judea,
Sung in ancient prophecies,
Comes with gladness to the nations;
In a manger low he lies.

Him the royal Virgin mother,
Full of rapture, bringeth forth,
As by Gabriel bespoken, —
Christ the Saviour of the earth.

And the shepherds on the hill-sides,
Labouring in care and woe,
Hear the tidings of the Angel,
Bringing joy to all below.

They behold the cloven heavens,
And they hear the choirs out-sing;
"Peace on earth, and in the highest,
Praise and glory to the King."

O, the wondrous light and holy,
That doth all the world illume!
Lo! the God of all Creation
Born of stainless Virgin's womb.

God, the Maker of the heavens,
God, the shaper of the earth,
Crown and glory of the Angels,
Comes, a Babe of human birth.

In his span the heavens are measured,
On his palm he holds the sun,
Yet in swathing bands enfolded,
Here he lies, a Little One.

Lo! the God whose word almighty
Formed the ages, is at rest,
Fondled on the Virgin bosom,
Nurtured on the Mother's breast.

Blessed Mary, Christ's own Mother,
Woman sprung of David's line,
Queen and praise of all creation,
Holy Virgin, joy be thine.

Hear, O Christ, the supplications
And the praises that we bring,
Thou 'mid patriarchs and prophets,
Reigning as eternal King.

Old and young in humble pleading
Bow before thy lofty throne;
Parents with their children seek thee
Help and guide, O Holy One.

Let the heavens shout thy glory,
Singing with the choirs on high;
Join, O earth in all thy fulness;
Sing, ye rivers, seas, and sky.

Walafrid Strabo (808 - 849) Germany
Translated by Daniel Joseph Donahoe
Source:  Early Christian hymns, Series II: translations of the verses of the early and middle ages by Daniel Joseph Donahoe, Donahoe pub. co, 1911

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