Monday, December 25, 2017

Star of the east

[1. Hail the blest morn, when the great Mediator,
Down from the regions of glory descend!
Shepherds, go worship the babe in the manger,
Lo, for his guard the bright angels attend.]

2. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning!
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid!
Star of the east, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid!

3. Cold on his cradle the dew-drops are shining;
Low lies his head with the beasts of the stall,
Angels adore him in slumber reclining,
Maker and Monarch and Saviour of all!

4. Say, shall we yield him, in costly devotion,
Odors of Edom and offerings divine?
Gems from the mountain, and pearls from the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest, and gold from the mine?

5. Vainly we offer each ample oblation;
Vainly with gifts would his favour secure:
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration;
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

[6. Low at his feet we in humble prostration,
Lose all our sorrow and trouble and strife;
There we receive his divine consolation,
Flowing afresh from the fountain of life.]

[7. He is our friend in the midst of temptation,
Faithful supporter, whose love cannot fail;
Rock of our refuge, and hope of salvation,
Light to direct us through death’s gloomy vale.]

[8. Star of the morning, thy brightness, declining,
Shortly must fade when the sun doth arise:
Beaming refulgent, his glory eternal
Shines on the children of love in the skies.]

Written, mostly, by Reginald Heber. This appears as “EPIPHANY.—No. II. R. H.” in Hymns, Written and Adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year by  Reginald Heber (London: John Murray, 1827, pp. 25-26). It has 5 stanzas – the ones above labeled 2, 3, 4, & 5, with the “brightest and best” stanza repeated. The Shepherd’s Star in Southern Harmony has 7 stanzas, but not “brightest and best.” It is used, however, in Star in the East, where it serves as a repeating chorus. B. F. White has five stanzas in The Sacred Harp with Star in the East – which is the same song as The Shepherd’s Star in Southern Harmony.

No comments: