I first invented in Thy praise

Representative Text

I first invented in Thy praise,
O Blessèd, these new metric lays.
Immortal Thou! of virgin mild
The holy ever glorious Child:
Hope of the world, salvation's stem,
O Jesus of Jerusalem!
To Thee I raise the song on high;
To Thee my harp-strings joyful ply.
O show me favour, heavenly King!
Accept the music which I bring
Of holy melodies; for Thou
Art He to whom my soul doth bow,
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God over all, God's mighty Son,
The ever blest Immortal One!
The Eternal Father gave Thee birth;
Birth Thou hast given to heaven and earth.
All worlds are Thine; all nature Thine;
And wisdom infinite, divine.
In heaven, as God, Thy fame is spread;
Below, as mingled with the dead.
But when the blessèd day had shone
That Thou shouldst mortal flesh put on
Of virgin mother, then the star,
Seen by the magi from afar
In eastern clime, perplexed their mind
And varied skill; nor could they find
Or who, or what, the child might be,
Or what the hidden deity;
No answer could their wisdom bring;
Or God, or doomed to die, or king.
'Tis well! meet be your offerings:
Bring myrrh for death's last sufferings:
Bring royal presents of fine gold;
And gifts of frankincense unfold.
My God! here frankincense behold!
My King! deign to receive the gold!
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And O! Thou Saviour born to die,
Myrrh, for Thy tomb let me supply!
And cleansèd was the earth by Thee,
And cleansèd were the waves of sea;
And all the paths which upward bear,
In slender element of air;
And dark recesses underground,
In succour to the dead there bound,
By Thee, great Conqueror, were trod;
And Hades stood aghast at God.
But O! propitious be, great King!
Smile on the tribute which I bring
Of tuneful songs and measured lays
Designèd for Thy holy praise.

Songs and Hymns of Earliest Greek Christian Poets, 1876

Translator: Allen W. Chatfield

Chatfield, Allen William, M.A., born at Chatteris, Oct. 2nd, 1808, and educated at Charterhouse School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was Bell's Univ. Scholar and Members' Prizeman. He graduated in 1831, taking a first class in classical honours. Taking Holy Orders in 1832, he was from 1833 to 1847 Vicar of Stotfold, Bedfordshire; and since 1847 Vicar of Much-Marcle, Herefordshire. Mr. Chatfield has published various Sermons from time to time. His Litany, &c. [Prayer Book] in Greek verse is admirable, and has been commended by many eminent scholars. His Songs and Hymns of Earliest Greek Christian Poets, Bishops, and others, translated into English Verse, 1876, has not received the attention of hymnal compilers which it merits. One… Go to person page >

Author: Synesius of Cyrene, Bishop of Ptolemais

Synesius, a native of Cyrene, born circa 375. His descent was illustrious. His pedigree extended through seventeen centuries, and in the words of Gibbon, "could not be equalled in the history of mankind." He became distinguished for his eloquence and philosophy, and as a statesman and patriot he took a noble stand. When the Goths were threatening his country he went to the court of Arcadius, and for three years tried to rouse it to the dangers that were coming on the empire. But Gibbon says, ”The court of Arcadius indulged the zeal, applauded the eloquence, and neglected the advice of Synesius." In 410 he was made Bishop of Ptolemaïs, but much against his will. He died in 430. Synesius's opinions have been variously estimated. That he wa… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I first invented in Thy praise
Translator: Allen W. Chatfield
Author: Synesius of Cyrene, Bishop of Ptolemais
Language: English
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