Scripture Verse

Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? Matthew 2:1–2

Introduction

illustration
Adoration of the Magi
Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528)

Words: John H. Hop­kins, 1850. Published in his Po­ems by the Way­side (New York: James Pott, 1883), page 258.

Music: Hop­kins Ed­win G. Monk (1819–1900) (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
John H. Hopkins, Jr.
(1820–1891)

Lyrics

When from the East the Magi came,
Led by the Star of Bethlehem,
The gifts they brought to Jesus were
Of gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

Bright gold of Ophir, passing fine,
Proclaims a king of royal line;
For David’s son in David’s town,
Is born the heir of David’s crown.

The incense clouds, with fragrance rare,
The presence of a God declare;
Lo! kings in adoration fall,
For Mary’s Son is Lord of all.

The myrrh, with bitter taste, foreshows
A life of sorrows, wounds, and woes—
The deadly cup, that overran
With anguish for the Son of Man.

Our gold upon Thine altar lies;
Our prayers to Thee, as incense, rise;
Accept as myrrh our tears and sighs:
O King, O God, O Sacrifice!