The Word was made flesh. John 1:14
Words: Ambrose of Milan (340–397) (Veni, Redemptor gentium). Translated from Latin to English by David T. Morgan, Hymns and Poems of the Latin Church (London: Rivingtons, 1880). For another translation, see Come, Thou Redeemer of the Earth.
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O come, Redeemer of mankind, appear,
Thee with full hearts the virgin born we greet;
Let every age with rapt amazement hear
That wondrous birth which for our God is meet.
Not by the will of man, or mortal seed,
But by the Spirit’s breathed mysterious grace
The Word of God became our flesh indeed,
And grew a tender plant of human race.
Lo! Mary’s virgin womb its burden bears;
Nor less abides her virgin purity;
In the King’s glory see our nature shares;
Here in His temple God vouchsafes to be.
From His bright chamber, virtue’s holy shrine
The royal Bridegroom cometh to the day;
Of twofold substance, human and divine,
As giant swift, rejoicing on His way.
Forth from His Father to the world He goes,
Back to the Father’s face His way regains,
Far down to souls beneath His glory shows,
Again at God’s right hand victorious reigns.
With the eternal Father equal, Thou,
Girt with our flesh dost triumph evermore,
Strengthening our feeble bodies here below
With endless grace from Thine own living store.
How doth Thy lowly manger radiant shine!
On the sweet breath of night new splendor grows;
So may our spirits glow with faith divine,
Where no dark cloud of sin shall interpose.
All praise and glory to the Father be,
All praise and glory to His only Son,
All praise and glory, Holy Ghost, to Thee,
Both now, and while eternal ages run.