Make Thee Ready, as Best Thou Art Able

Representative Text

1. Make thee ready, as best thou art able,
Little Bethlehem, garnish the bed,
Tho’ it be but a crib in a stable,
Where the Infant may pillow His head,
Where the Infant may pillow His head.

2. Type and shadow of yore are now ended;
Lo, the substance is come, as I ken;
Truth Incarnate to earth is descended,
God hath pitchèd His tent among men.
God hath pitchèd His tent among men.

3. He is past through the virginal portal;
The Invisible doth not decline
To be found in the fashion of mortal,
For to make human nature divine,
For to make human nature divine.

4. Wherefore Adam and Eva, forgiven
Their iniquity cry, By the grace
And goodwill of our Lord are we shriven;
Seen of men, He doth ransom our race;
Seen of men, He doth ransom our race.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #4151

Translator (from Greek): George Ratcliffe Woodward

Educated at Caius College in Cambridge, England, George R. Woodward (b. Birkenhead, Cheshire, England, 1848; d. Highgate, London, England, 1934) was ordained in the Church of England in 1874. He served in six parishes in London, Norfolk, and Suffolk. He was a gifted linguist and translator of a large number of hymns from Greek, Latin, and German. But Woodward's theory of translation was a rigid one–he held that the translation ought to reproduce the meter and rhyme scheme of the original as well as its contents. This practice did not always produce singable hymns; his translations are therefore used more often today as valuable resources than as congregational hymns. With Charles Wood he published three series of The Cowley Carol Book (19… Go to person page >

Author: Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem

(no biographical information available about Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem.) Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Make thee ready, as best thou art able
Title: Make Thee Ready, as Best Thou Art Able
Greek Title: Βηθλεὲμ, ἐτοιμάξου
Translator (from Greek): George Ratcliffe Woodward
Author: Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem (629)
Source: An Italian Carol Book (London: The Faith Press, 1920), number 8
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

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The Cyber Hymnal #4151
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The Cyber Hymnal #4151

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