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O Christmas Night!

O Christmas night! Day's light transcending

Author: Joost van den Vondel (1637); Translator (from Dutch): Howard Murphy (1865)
Published in 1 hymnal

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1. O Christmas night! Day’s light transcending,
Who no beginning had or end
Till He a man became, was God.
Then He who ne’er before was human
Was born in Bethlehem of woman,
When nips the frost the verdant sod.

2. This richest Babe comes poor in being,
More pearled within than to the seeing
With diadem and royal power;
He takes no heed of greater places,
But that small spot alone embraces,
Where light illumes the midnight hour.

3. This Prince, do they desire to find Him?
They’re worn out swaddling clothes that bind Him.
A manger, spread with hay’s His bed.
His throne is higher than the highest,
Yet He among the cattle lieth;
What Him to such a lot has led?

4. Now seeks He God with chaste affection
Who takes before such crib direction,
Are better than this Bethlehem,
Which Christ no resting place shall give;
For they, the after life, shall live
With Him, in Jerusalem.

Author: Joost van den Vondel

Born: No­vem­ber 17, 1587, Co­logne, Ger­ma­ny. Died: Feb­ru­a­ry 5, 1679, Am­ster­dam, Ne­ther­lands. Buried: New Church, Am­ster­dam, Ne­ther­lands. Van den Von­del is some­times called the Prince of Dutch po­ets. Go to person page >

Translator (from Dutch): Howard Murphy

(no biographical information available about Howard Murphy.) Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O Christmas night! Day's light transcending
Title: O Christmas Night!
Original Language: Dutch
Author: Joost van den Vondel (1637)
Translator (from Dutch): Howard Murphy (1865)
Meter: 9.9.8 D
Source: In his play Gijsbrecht van Aemstel (after Act 3), 1637
Language: English
Notes: The lyrics are sometimes incorrectly attributed to Henricus Selyns, who brought them to Brooklyn in 1600, and used them with an addition as Bridal Torch.
Copyright: Public Domain


The Cyber Hymnal #5541
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
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The Cyber Hymnal #5541

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