Good tidings of great joy. Luke 2:10
Words: Unknown author, probably from 14th Century Germany (Dies est lætitiæ). Translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale, Mediæval Hymns, 1851.
Music: Dies Est Lætitiæ Hermann R. Schroeder, in Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young, edited by John H. Hopkins, Jr. (New York: James Pott, 1887) (🔊 pdf nwc).
Royal day that chasest gloom!
Day by gladness speeded!
Thou beheld from Mary’s womb
How the King proceeded;
Whom, true Man, with praise our choir
Hails, and love, and heart’s desire,
Joy and admiration;
Who, true God, enthroned in light,
Passeth wonder, passeth sight,
On the virgin as He hung,
God, the world’s Creator,
Like a rose from lily sprung—
Stood astounded nature:
That a maiden’s arms enfold
Him that make the world of old,
Him that ever liveth:
That a maiden’s spotless breast
To the King eternal rest,
Warmth and nurture, giveth!
As the sunbeam through the glass
Passeth, but not staineth,
Thus the virgin, as she was,
Virgin still remaineth:
Blessèd mother, in whose womb
Lay the light that exiles gloom,
God, the Lord of ages;
Blessèd maid! from whom the Lord,
Her own Infant, God adored,
Hunger’s pains assuages.