Field Stone Cottage Blog

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: Behold, a Branch is Growing

Behold, a Branch is growing
Of loveliest form and grace,
As prophets sung, foreknowing;
It springs from Jesse's race
And bears one little Flow'r
In midst of coldest winter,
At deepest midnight hour.

Isaiah hath foretold it
In words of promise sure,
And Mary's arms enfold it,
A virgin meek and pure.
Through God's eternal will
This Child to her is given
At midnight calm and still.

The shepherds heard the story,
Proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of Glory,
Was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped
And in the manger found him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God;
From sin and death he saves us
And lightens every load.

O Saviour, Child of Mary,
Who felt our human woe;
O Saviour, King of Glory,
Who dost our weakness know,
Bring us at length, we pray,
To the bright courts of heaven
And to the endless day.

German author unknown, c. 1500
Tr., st. 1-4, Harriet R. Spaeth, 1875
Tr., st. 5, John C. Mattes, 1914
Tune: Es Ist Ein' Ros' Entsprungen, Traditional German melody
har. by Michael Praetorius, 1609, alt.


ellen b. said...

What a great advent hymn!

Persis said...

What a beautiful hymn.

AuntE said...

Thank you, Dorothy, for posting one of my favourite Advent hymns! The translation you have here is a little different than the one I am familiar with. The one I've heard and sung is a translation by Theodore Baker. I just did a quick search for translators and it turns out there are quite a few different versions. To me that says that the words have a lot of depth (which they do!) and can be seen from different perspectives.