Monday, 3 January 2011

This Dear Day

A seventeenth-century carol by the English Seneca, Bishop Joseph Hall (1574-1656).

'Cratch' in verse 2 means 'manger, cradle'; cf. creche.

1. Immortal Babe, who this dear day
Didst change thine Heaven for our clay,
And didst with flesh thy godhead veil,
Eternal Son of God, all hail!

2. Shine, happy star; ye angels, sing
Glory on high to Heaven's King:
Run, shepherds, leave your nightly watch,
See Heaven come down to Bethlehem's cratch.

3. Worship, ye sages of the east,
The King of gods in meanness dress'd.
O blessed maid, smile and adore
The God thy womb and arms have bore.

4. Star, angels, shepherds, and wise sages,
Thou virgin glory of all ages,
Restored frame of Heaven and Earth,
Joy in your dear Redeemer's birth!

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