1 Deep the gloom, and still the night,
Cold and damp the weather,
When the chill night air despite,
Met three kings together.
One was old with snow-white hair,
One the prime of manhood bare,
And the third, a youth, stood there
With them on the heather.
2 Looking for the promised King,
Who, in Eastern quarters,
Soon should spring to life, to rule
O'er earth's sons and daughters,
Them this eve, while rapt in sleep,
One had roused in accents deep,
"Haste ye; watch ye; vigil keep
By Euphrates' waters!"
3 Up they spring, and quickly hie,
Each his pathway bending,
Through the chilly mist and gloom,
O'er the earth depending,
How the world in darkness lay,
Till the Day-Star shed Its ray,
Nature thus would fain display;
Mystic emblems lending.
4 Then the kings with solemn gaze
Looked on high beholding;
For the marvel yet to come,
Heav'n their spirits moulding,
When behold, with silent awe,
Suddenly the clouds they saw
Like a darkened veil withdraw,
Wonders more unfolding.
5 In a trice a star shone forth,
O! so brightly shining!--
Nearer, nearer yet it came,
Still towards earth inclining!
And 'twas shaped--O wondrous sight!
Like a child enthroned in light,
Crown'd, though yet, with sceptre bright.
6 Then one cried, "Behold the star
Of which seers have spoken,
Beaming on the land afar,
And of life the token!
Haste we, brothers! let us speed;
See, it moves! It comes to lead
To the Christ, of Judah's seed
Born of line unbroken!"
7 Up they rise, and bend their way,
Toil nor labour sparing,
Over mountain, hill, and plain,
Costly treasures bearing--
So do ye your off'rings make,
Fear no pain for Jesu's sake,
Ever strive heaven's road to take,
For your Lord preparing!
Source: Voices of Praise: for school and church and home #362
|First Line:||Deep the gloom, and still the night|