Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2
Words: Aurelius Prudentius, 5th Century (O Sola Magnarum Urbium), cento. Translated from Latin to English by Richard Mant, Ancient Hymns from the Roman Breviary (London: J. G. & F. Rivington, 1837), number 34.
First of cities, Bethlehem,
Hail, most favored! When He came,
Savior of the human race,
Thee the Godhead deigned to grace.
Brighter than the sun’s bright car,
And more glorious was the star,
Which in Thee new-born from high
Told the incarnate Deity.
Him what time the Magians saw,
Forth their orient gifts they draw;
Prostrate they with vows unfold
Myrrh, and frankincense, and gold.
Frankincense and gold they bring,
To announce their God and king;
Spice of aromatic myrrh,
To announce His sepulcher.
Jesus, let Thy name be blest,
To the Gentiles manifest;
To the Father glory be,
With the Spirit, and with Thee!