God said, Let there be light, and there was light.@Genesis 1:3

Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770).

Josephine Ernest R. Kroeger, 1901 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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Ernest R. Kroeger (1862-1934)

Almighty framer of the skies!
O let our pure devotion rise,
Like incense in Thy sight!
Wrapped in impenetrable shade
The texture of our souls was made,
Till Thy command gave light.

The Sun of glory gleamed the ray,
Refined the darkness into day,
And bid the vapors fly:
Impelled by His eternal love,
He left His palaces above,
To cheer our gloomy sky.

How shall we celebrate the day
When God appeared in mortal clay,
The mark of worldly scorn;
When the archangel’s heavenly lays
Attempted the Redeemer’s praise,
And hailed salvation’s morn?

A humble form the Godhead wore,
The pains of poverty He bore,
To gaudy pomp unknown:
Though in a humble walk He trod,
Still was the man Almighty God,
In glory all His own.

Despised, oppressed, the Godhead bears
The torments of this vale of tears,
Nor bids His vengeance rise;
He saw the creatures He had made
Revile His power, His peace invade;
He saw with mercy’s eyes.

How shall we celebrate His name,
Who groaned beneath a life of shame,
In all afflictions tried?
The soul is raptured to conceive
A truth which being must believe:
The God eternal died.

My soul, exert thy powers, adore,
Upon devotion’s plumage soar,
To celebrate the day:
The God from whom creation sprung
Shall animate my grateful tongue;
From Him I’ll catch the lay!