Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John…Many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.@Luke 1:13-14

Paul the Deacon, 8th Century (Ut queant laxis resonare fibris); translated from Latin to English by Richard E. Roberts in The English Hymnal (London: Oxford University Press, 1906), number 223.

Iste Confessor Poitiers Antiphoner, 1746 ( pdf nwc).

The Angel Appears to Zechariah

Let thine example, holy John, remind us,
Ere we can meetly sing thy deeds of wonder,
Hearts must be chastened, and the bonds that bind us
Broken asunder!

Lo! a swift angel, from the skies descending,
Tells to thy father what shall be thy naming;
All thy life’s greatness to its bitter ending
Duly proclaiming.

But when he doubted what the angel told him
Came to him dumbness to confirm the story;
At thine appearing, healed again behold him,
Chanting thy glory!

Oh! what a splendor and a revelation
Came to each mother, at thy joyful leaping,
Greeting thy Monarch, King of every nation,
In the womb sleeping.

Angels in orders everlasting praise Thee,
God, in Thy triune majesty tremendous,
Hark to the prayers we, penitents, upraise Thee:
Save and defend us.