There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his root. Isaiah 11:1
Words: Adam of St. Victor, 12th Century (Jubilemus Salvatori). Translated from Latin to English by
J. M. H. in Lyra Messianica, edited by Orby Shipley (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green, 1864), pages 61–63. The translator’s identity is uncertain; we speculate he is John Middleton Hare, a known translator who contributed additional hymns to Lyra Messianica and other books by Orby Shipley.
Music: Bonar (Calkin) John B. Calkin, 1867 (🔊 pdf nwc).
If you know the translator, or where to get a good picture of him, or a good photo of Calkin (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels),
In her Lord His Church rejoices,
Whom the host of heavenly voices
Welcome to His earthly throne:
Peace from Heav’n their song reciteth,
Earth to Heav’n it reuniteth,
Church with angels now are one.
To the flesh the Word is chainèd
As it had been fore-ordainèd:
Unapproached by mortal man,
Bears a virgin God’s own Temple,
Nor exemplar nor example,
Having since the worlds began.
’Tis a marvel past discerning,
That the bush with fire is burning,
Yet the bush it not consumes;
Dews the skies give, mists the mountains,
Melt the clouds, the hills are fountains,
And the Root of Jesse blooms.
From the Root the Flower upgroweth,
As the oracle foreshoweth
Filling the rapt seer with joy:
Jesse’s Root was David’s pattern,
So the Rod the Virgin matern,
And its flower her heavenly Boy.
Where is gladness more abounding?
Where the plummet deep for sounding
Such abysmal mystery?
Here is theme for endless wonder;
Saints and angels, praising, ponder—
God an infant deigns to be!
Every charm the Flower attendeth:
It to inner sense commendeth
Seven-fold grace’s rich perfume:
Let us in this Flower delight us,
To the feast which doth invite us
With its fair and fragrant bloom.
Jesu, Branch that shall not wither,
May the day which brought Thee hither,
Bring Thy people joy and peace:
Flower and fruit of virgin culture,
Vital in Thy brief sepulture,
Never shall Thy praises cease.