The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. Matthew 4:16
Words: From the Missal of Noyon (Lux Est Orta Gentilibus). Translated from Latin to English by
A. M. M. in Lyra Messianica, edited by Orby Shipley (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green, 1864), pages 66–67, alt.
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Glory to God! We were in bitter need,
We sat in darkness long and weary days;
But now our light is come, the Light indeed,
And we may rise and shine with kindred rays;
The God-Man comes down so we can now ascend,
The Guiltless drinks guilt’s woes to work their end.
O mystic gift of God Omnipotent!
O happiness for man, most deep, most dear!
This is no theme for subtle argument,
No lore of earth hath lot or portion here;
That the Great God should so abasèd be—
We speak, we cannot search, the mystery.
The dew of God is on the parchèd fleece,
The sapless rod blooms with immortal flowers,
The virgin bears a Son, our utter peace,
Nor knows pollution in her travail’s hours;
We cannot speak that birth, but we confess
Most great the mystery of godliness.
Though it may chance the shipmen toil and row,
With countless wrecks far strewn on either hand,
They see a star above the waters glow,
There is an ark which sights the pleasant land;
There is a door of life set wide, which none
Can open to lorn souls, can shut, save One.
O not with observation came He then
Into our world, but soon the day shall be
When with great glory He shall come again
With all His saints, and every eye shall see
Him whom they piercèd. When we meet Thee thus
Let there be mercy, O our God, on us.