Scripture Verse

The star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. Matthew 2:9

Introduction

portrait
William Jackson
(1730–1803)

Words: Anon­y­mous, in Christ­mas Car­ols (Lon­don: John Will­iam Par­ker, 1833), num­ber 11. The mu­sic had an an­no­ta­tion say­ing that, start­ing with the words ‘we love to gaze,’ This and six fol­low­ing notes may be sung an oc­tave high­er, if found too low. This text can al­so be sung to CMD tunes by skip­ping the re­peated fourth line in each verse.

Music: Will­iam Jack­son (1730–1803) (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know the au­thor, or where to get a good pic­ture of him (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you send us an e-mail?

illustration
Christmas Carols, 1833

Lyrics

Star of the east! whose beacon light
A gleam on Bethlehem threw,
And thither by that wondrous sight
Arabia’s sages drew,
Arabia’s sages drew;
On thee in thought we love to gaze
In western climes afar,
And think on thy mysterious rays,
Thou lovely eastern star.

Fair is the star of eve that sheds
Her light betokening rest;
And fair the morning star that leads
The day in glory dressed,
The day in glory dressed;
But still more fair thy form arose,
And lovelier to behold,
Which of a more serene repose
A brighter glory told.

Hail thou, whose silvery radiance led
Those Magian chiefs to bring
Their choicest gifts, in worship spread
Before Judea’s king,
Before Judea’s king;
That glorious Sun, whose harbinger
Thy light was made to shine,
And like the pillared flame to bear
Aloft salvation’s sign!

Hail thou appointed to adorn
The rising King of Heav’n,
The promised Child to Judah born,
The Son to Israel giv’n,
The Son to Israel giv’n;
In whom the peaceful empire sealed
Should more and more increase;
In Him, the mighty God revealed,
In Him, the Prince of Peace!

So on thy beacon light we gaze
In western climes afar,
And note thy Heav’n directed rays,
Thou lovely eastern star,
Thou lovely eastern star;
With praise to Him, who in the sky
Thy wondrous cresset hung,
Prompt to inform the’observing eye,
Apart from speech or tongue.

Him who permits to all to see
The light their stations need;
Who chose the star versèd sage by thee,
Star of the east, to lead,
Star of the east, to lead;
Who made by shepherd swains at night
The angel’s voice be heard;
And gives to us His Scriptures’ light,
His own recording word.