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Πρωτος νομον ευρομαν


I first invented in Thy praise,

O Blessèd, these new metric lays.

Immortal Thou! of virgin mild

The holy ever glorious Child:

Hope of the world, salvation's stem,

O Jesus of Jerusalem!

To Thee I raise the song on high;

To Thee my harp-strings joyful ply.

O show me favour, heavenly King!

10Accept the music which I bring

Of holy melodies; for Thou

Art He to whom my soul doth bow,


God over all, God's mighty Son,

The ever blest Immortal One!

The Eternal Father gave Thee birth;

Birth Thou hast given to heaven and earth.

All worlds are Thine; all nature Thine;

And wisdom infinite, divine.

In heaven, as God, Thy fame is spread;

20Below, as mingled with the dead.

But when the blessèd day had shone

That Thou shouldst mortal flesh put on

Of virgin mother, then the star,

Seen by the magi from afar

In eastern clime, perplexed their mind

And varied skill; nor could they find

Or who, or what, the child might be,

Or what the hidden deity;

No answer could their wisdom bring;

30Or God, or doomed to die, or king.

'Tis well! meet be your offerings:

Bring myrrh for death's last sufferings:

Bring royal presents of fine gold;

And gifts of frankincense unfold.

My God! here frankincense behold!

My King! deign to receive the gold!


And O! Thou Saviour born to die,

Myrrh, for Thy tomb let me supply!

And cleansèd was the earth by Thee,

40And cleansèd were the waves of sea;

And all the paths which upward bear,

In slender element of air;

And dark recesses underground,

In succour to the dead there bound,

By Thee, great Conqueror, were trod;

And Hades stood aghast at God.

But O! propitious be, great King!

Smile on the tribute which I bring

Of tuneful songs and measured lays

50Designèd for Thy holy praise.

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