The Princely City Passing By

Representative Text

1 The princely city passing by,
The Magi turn to greet
The goal of all their toilsome march
In Bethlehem’s lowly street;
And while, from many tuneful lips,
Spontaneous anthems rise,
Triumphant faith takes wings of hope,
And wafts them to the skies.

2 Transporting joy, when once again
The star that they had lost,
With heav’nly light and promise bright,
Their eager pathway crossed;
Nor stayed its radiant course until
It took its golden rest,
Above the place where Jesus lay
Upon His mother’s breast.

3 No glint is here of ivory,
No blaze of burnished gold;
No purple robes the infant limbs
In gorgeous hues enfold:
His palace is a stable rude,
His throne a manger wild,
And raiment rough in web and woof,
The purple of that Child.

4 Let pomp and splendor other kings
Luxuriously adorn;
For better proves He thus His reign
Supreme the Babe new born:
In peasant garb and culture mean,
He sways the realms of thought;
And ’neath the scepter of His will
The hearts of men are brought.

5 Beside the cradle where He sleeps,
They worship on their knees;
And in the Child the eye of faith
The present Godhead sees;
Let us, their offspring in the faith,
Adore the Infant here;
And offer Him our best of gifts,
Hearts filled with sacred fear.

6 Let chaste and ardent love supply
The gold of Eastern kings,
And bodies penance-chastened yield
The myrrh devotion brings:
Our vows and prayers, like frankincense
And myrrh, shall sweetly rise
To hail the Babe recumbent here
As ruler of the skies.

7 To God the Father, fount of light,
Be glory evermore;
To God the Son, whose light and grace
Extend from shore to shore,
Be equal glory given here
And in the realms above,
In never ending songs of praise
Commensurate with love.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #8367

Author: Charles Coffin

Coffin, Charles, born at Buzaney (Ardennes) in 1676, died 1749, was principal of the college at Beauvais, 1712 (succeeding the historian Rollin), and rector of the University of Paris, 1718. He published in 1727 some, of his Latin poems, for which he was already noted, and in 1736 the bulk of his hymns appeared in the Paris Breviary of that year. In the same year he published them as Hymni Sacri Auctore Carolo Coffin, and in 1755 a complete ed. of his Works was issued in 2 vols. To his Hymni Sacri is prefixed an interesting preface. The whole plan of his hymns, and of the Paris Breviary which he so largely influenced, comes out in his words. "In his porro scribendis Hymnis non tam poetico indulgendunv spiritui, quam nitoro et pietate co… Go to person page >

Translator: J. C. Earle

(no biographical information available about J. C. Earle.) Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The princely city passing by
Title: The Princely City Passing By
Latin Title: Linquunt Tecta Magi Principis Orbis
Author: Charles Coffin
Translator: J. C. Earle
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



Published in a chapel hymnal for the Duke of Würtemberg (Gesangbuch der Herzogl, 1784), ELLACOMBE (the name of a village in Devonshire, England) was first set to the words "Ave Maria, klarer und lichter Morgenstern." During the first half of the nineteenth century various German hymnals altered the…

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The Cyber Hymnal #8367
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The Cyber Hymnal #8367

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