O Chief of Cities, Bethlehem

Representative Text

1 O chief of cities, Bethlehem,
Of David’s crown the fairest gem,
But more to us than David’s name,
In you, as man, the Savior came.

2 Beyond the sun in splendor bright,
Above you stands a wondrous light
Proclaiming from the conscious skies
That here in flesh, the Godhead lies.

3 The Wise Men, seeing him so fair,
Bow low before him and with prayer
Their treasured eastern gifts unfold
Of incense, myrrh, and royal gold.

4 The golden tribute owns him king,
But frankincense to God they bring,
And last, prophetic sign, with myrrh
They shadow forth his sepulcher.

5 O Jesus, whom the Gentiles see,
With Father, Spirit, One in Three:
To you, O God, be glory giv’n
By saints on earth and saints in heav’n.

Source: Lutheran Worship #76

Author: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius

Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, "The Christian Pindar" was born in northern Spain, a magistrate whose religious convictions came late in life. His subsequent sacred poems were literary and personal, not, like those of St. Ambrose, designed for singing. Selections from them soon entered the Mozarabic rite, however, and have since remained exquisite treasures of the Western churches. His Cathemerinon liber, Peristephanon, and Psychomachia were among the most widely read books of the Middle Ages. A concordance to his works was published by the Medieval Academy of America in 1932. There is a considerable literature on his works. --The Hymnal 1940 Companion… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O chief of cities, Bethlehem
Title: O Chief of Cities, Bethlehem
Latin Title: O sola magnarum urbium
Author: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius
Source: Composite translation from Latin to English
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



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Lutheran Worship #76


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