Scripture Verse

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3


John Brownlie

Words: Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John Brown­lie, Hymns from East and West (Lon­don: James Nis­bet, 1898), pag­es 37–38.

Music: Stut­tgart in Psal­mo­dia Sac­ra, by Chri­stian F. Witt (Go­tha, Ger­ma­ny: 1715). Adapt­ed by Hen­ry J. Gaunt­lett (1805–1876) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Henry J. Gauntlett
National Portrait Gallery

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Origin of the Hymn

Translated from a re­cast of the fifth century hymn be­gin­ning Vox cla­ra, ec­ce, in­to­nat, in the Ro­man Brev­i­ary of 1632. The orig­in­al is by some as­signed to St. Am­brose, not with­out ad­e­quate rea­son.

John Brownlie


Hark! a voice is loudly ringing
Through the mists that cloud the night;
Banish hence your idle dreaming—
Christ descendeth from the height.

Soul of mine, bestir! awaken!
Prone on earth no longer lie;
Every dismal cloud shall vanish—
See, His star is in the sky!

Lo! the Lamb to earth descendeth,
Bearing pardon to our race;
Come with tears and seek forgiveness
From the fullness of His grace.

When He comes again in brightness,
Filling earth with woeful dread,
May the shield of His protection
O’er our trusting souls be spread.

Virtue, honor, praise, and glory
To the Father and the Son,
With the Paraclete most holy,
Now, and while the ages run.