O Morning Star

Daily Reading for January 11

O Morning Star! how fair and bright,

thou beamest forth in truth and light!

O Sovereign meek and lowly!

Sweet Root of Jesse, David’s Son

my King and Bridegroom, thou hast won

my heart to love thee solely!

Lovely art thou, fair and glorious,

all victorious,

rich in blessing,

rule and might o’er all possessing.

O King high-born, Pearl hardly won,

true Son of God and Mary’s Son,

crown of exceeding glory!

My heart calls thee a Lily, Lord,

pure milk and honey is thy Word,

thy sweetest Gospel-story.

Rose of Sharon, hail! Hosanna!

Heavenly Manna,

feed us ever.

Lord, I can forget thee never!

Clear Jasper, Ruby fervent red,

deep, deep within my heart now shed,

the glow of love’s pure fire.

Fill me with joy, grant me to be

thy member closely joined to thee,

whom all my thoughts desire;

toward thee longing doth possess me,

turn and bless me,

for thy gladness,

eye and heart here pine in sadness.

But if thou look on me in love,

there straightway falls from God above,

a ray of purest pleasure;

thy Word and Spirit, flesh and blood,

refresh my soul with heavenly food,

thou art my hidden treasure.

Let thy grace, Lord, warm and cheer me,

O draw near me;

thou has taught us

thee to seek, since thou hast sought us.

Lord God, my Father, mighty shield,

thou in thy Son art all revealed,

as thou hast loved and known me;

thy Son hath me with him betrothed,

in his own whitest raiment clothed,

he for his bride will own me.

Hallelujah! Life in heaven

hath he given,

with him dwelling,

still shall I his praise be telling.

Then touch the chords of harp and lute,

let no sweet music now be mute,

but joyously resounding.

Tell of the marriage-feast, the Bride

the heavenly Bridegroom by her side,

’mid love and joy abounding;

shout for triumph, loudly sing ye,

praises bring ye,

fall before him,

King of kings, let all adore him.

Here my heart rests, and holds it fast,

the Lord I love is First and Last,

the End as the Beginning!

Here I can die, for I shall rise

through him to his own Paradise,

above all tears and sinning:

Amen! Amen! Come, Lord Jesus,

soon release us,

with deep yearning,

Lord, we look for thy returning!

An Epiphany hymn by Philipp Nicholai, in Freudenspiegel des ewigen Lebens (Mirror of the Joys of Eternal Life) (Frankfurt, 1599), translated by Catherine Winkworth, Christian Singers of Germany (London: Macmillan and Company, 1869).

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