Her virgin eyes saw God incarnate born

Her virgin eyes saw God incarnate born

Author: Thomas Ken
Published in 10 hymnals

Representative Text

1 Her Virgin eyes saw God incarnate born,
when she to Bethlem came that happy morn:
how high her raptures then began to swell,
none but her own omniscient Son can tell.

2 As Eve, when she her fontal sin reviewed,
wept for herself and all she should include,
blest Mary, with man's Saviour in embrace,
joyed for herself and for all human race.

3 All saints are by her Son's dear influence blest;
she kept the very fountain at her breast:
the Son adored and nursed by the sweet Maid
a thousandfold of love for love repaid.

4 Heaven with transcendent joys her entrance graced,
near to his throne her Son his Mother placed;
and here below, now she's of heaven possest,
all generations are to call her blest.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #314

Author: Thomas Ken

Thomas Ken (b. Berkampstead, Hertfordshire, England, 1637; d. Longleat, Wiltshire, England, 1711) studied at Winchester College, Hart Hall, and New College, Oxford, England. Ordained in the Church of England in 1662, he served variously as pastor, chaplain at Winchester College (1669-1679), chaplain to Princess (later Queen) Mary in The Hague, and bishop of Bath and Wells (1685-1691). He was a man of conscience and independent mind who did not shirk from confrontations with royalty. When King Charles II came to visit Winchester, he took along his mistress, the famous actress Nell Gwynne. Ken was asked to provide lodging for her. The story is told that Ken quickly declared his house under repair and had a builder take off the roof! He later… Go to person page >


Her Virgin eyes saw God incarnate born. T. Ken. [The Mother of our Lord.] This, in The English Hymnal, 1906, No. 217, is a cento of lines gathered together from a poem entitled "Sion: or, Philothea," in Bp. Ken's Works, 1721, vol. iv., pp. 370, &c.; the cento beginning at the line "When she to Bethlem came that happy morn." [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)



FARLEY CASTLE, composed by Henry Lawes (b. Dinton, Wiltshire, England, 1596; d. London, England, 1662), was first published in treble and bass parts as a setting for Psalm 72 in George Sandys's Paraphrase upon the Divine Poems (1638). In the British tradition the tune is used as a setting for Horati…

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Instances (1 - 5 of 5)

Ancient and Modern #314

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Common Praise #239

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CPWI Hymnal #745

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #310

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The New English Hymnal #182

Include 5 pre-1979 instances
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