Scripture Verse

Good tidings of great joy. Luke 2:10


John M. Neale (1818–1866)


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,
Passeth cogitation.

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.