1 As those who seek the break of day
Full early in the morning,
The women came where Jesus lay,
Who late had borne the scorning.
Sweet ointment in their hands they brought,
And ere the sun had risen,
The Sun of Righteousness they sought,
Now set within death’s prison.
2 And thus they cried—the body here,
Let us give new anointing ;
The quick’ning flesh, the body dear,
Which by divine appointing
From this dark sepulcher shall rise,
And Adam’s race deliver,
And lift the fallen to the skies
To reign in bliss for ever.
3 And like the Magi, hasten we
To Him with love adoring;
Sweet spices, too, our gifts shall be,
And we must weep, imploring
That He, in swaddling clothes no more,
But in fine linen lying,
Would grant the fallen when life is o’er,
The gift of life undying.
Most British hymn writers in the nineteenth century were clergymen, but William C. Dix (b. Bristol, England, 1837; d. Cheddar, Somerset, England, 1898) was a notable exception. Trained in the business world, he became the manager of a marine insurance company in Glasgow, Scotland. Dix published various volumes of his hymns, such as Hymns of Love and Joy (1861) and Altar Songs: Verses on the Holy Eucharist (1867). A number of his texts were first published in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861).
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This is an Οῑκος, or short hymn, in honour of the holy women who brought spices to anoint the body of Jesus, and follows in the Greek Office for Easter Day, a κοντάκιον (another short hymn), by St. Romanus (q. v.), to whom, possibly because of this close association, it is sometimes ascribed. It dates probably about 500, and is found inserted between Odes vi. and vii. of the Golden Canon of St. John of Damascene in the Pentecostarion.
Display Title: As Those Who Seek The Break Of DayFirst Line: As those who seek the break of dayTune Title: ALBACETEAuthor: William C. DixMeter: 87.87 DSource: Tr.: Lyra Messianica by Orby Shipley (London: Longman, Green, Longman, roberts & Green, 1864)