First of Cities, Bethlehem

Representative Text

1 First of cities, Bethlehem,
Hail, most favored! When He came,
Savior of the human race,
Thee the Godhead deigned to grace.

2 Brighter than the sun’s bright car,
And more glorious was the star,
Which in Thee new-born from high
Told the incarnate Deity.

3 Him what time the Magians saw,
Forth their orient gifts they draw;
Prostrate they with vows unfold
Myrrh, and frankincense, and gold.

4 Frankincense and gold they bring,
To announce their God and king;
Spice of aromatic myrrh,
To announce His sepulcher.

5 Jesus, let Thy name be blest,
To the Gentiles manifest;
To the Father glory be,
With the Spirit, and with Thee!

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #8393

Translator: Richard Mant

Mant, Richard D.D., son of the Rev. Richard Mant, Master of the Grammar School, Southampton, was born at Southampton, Feb. 12, 1776. He was educated at Winchester and Trinity, Oxford (B.A. 1797, M.A., 1799). At Oxford he won the Chancellor's prize for an English essay: was a Fellow of Oriel, and for some time College Tutor. On taking Holy Orders he was successively curate to his father, then of one or two other places, Vicar of Coggeshall, Essex, 1810; Domestic Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 1813, Rector of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, London. 1816, and East Horsley, 1818, Bishop of Killaloe, 1820, of Down and Connor, 1823, and of Dromore, 1842. He was also Bampton Lecturer in 1811. He died Nov. 2, 1848. His prose works were numerou… Go to person page >

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: First of cities, Bethlehem
Title: First of Cities, Bethlehem
Latin Title: O sola magnarum urbium
Translator: Richard Mant
Author: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (cento)
Meter: 7.7.7.7
Source: Ancient Hymns from the Roman Breviary (London, J. G. & F. Rivington, 1837)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

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The Cyber Hymnal #8393

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