And Can It Be That God Is Born

This is the text of this hymn as it appeared in the Second Edition of William Chatterton Dix’s “Altar Songs.” He gives it the heading “Christmas. Knowing Him in the breaking of Bread.”

And can it be that God is born
This happy morn;
That He, Most High, Who framed the earth
Is come to birth;

That He in time, the Ageless One,
Is Mary’s Son?
Yes, even so; Faith leads the way
Unto the Day,

And Hope, with songs, beguiles the road
To that abode
Where Love, her journey past, shall see
True Charity.

To Bethlehem come, what see I there?
A Child most fair;
Yet He is God, Who finds His rest
On’Mary’s breast:

A little One but newly born,
The Star of Morn;
A helpless Babe of mean estate,
The Uncreate,

A Child, of fleshly pride abhorred,
Creation’s Lord.
Sight is offended, will not own,
Faith sees alone

The Mystery to Faith displayed,
How God was made
Man for us men, for sinners born,
This Christmas morn.

To Bethlehem, true house of bread
I would be led,
And find Thee there, no more the Child,
With Mother mild,

But Man, with Wounds and piercèd Side,
The Crucified.
No more the creatures of the stall
Before Thee fall;

Thy courtiers now, the Angel-choir,
Spirits of fire
Who come to greet Thee, as of yore
On stable floor.

I hear the solemn hymn go up,
I see the bread, the cup;
I see the priest in vestment meet,
The incense sweet;

But art Thou here in very deed,
Thine own to feed?
Some knew Me not at Bethlehem,
Art thou of them?

Words: William Chatterton Dix, 1867.
Tune:Zpivejmez Vsickni Vesele” Velka Partitura, 1936.
Meter: 84.84

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About Noah

musings of a young Catholic aspiring to be faithful to his Lord and God Jesus Christ through His Holy Catholic Church
This entry was posted in Christmas, Hymns By The Greats, The Church Year, The Holy Eucharist, The Sacraments, William Chatterton Dix. Bookmark the permalink.

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