136. Rod of the Root of Jesse

Rod of the Root of Jesse,
Thou, Flower of Mary born,
From that thick shady mountain

Cam’st glorious forth this morn:
Of her, the ever Virgin,
Incarnate wast Thou made,
The immaterial Essence,
The GOD by all obeyed!
Glory, LORD, Thy servants pay
To Thy wondrous might today!

The Gentiles’ expectation,
Whom Jacob’s words foretell,
Who Syria’s pride shalt vanquish,
Samaria’s pride shalt quell;
Thou from the Root of Judah
Like some fair plant dost spring,
To turn old Gentile error
To Thee, its GOD and King!
Glory, LORD, Thy servants pay
To Thy wondrous might today!

In Balaam’s ancient vision
The Eastern seers were skilled,
They marked the constellations,
And joy their spirits filled:
For Thou, bright Star of Jacob,
Arising in Thy might,
Didst call these Gentiles first-fruits
To worship in Thy light.
They in holy reverence bent,
Gifts acceptable present.

As on a fleece descending
The gentle dews distil,
As drops the earth that water,
The Virgin didst Thou fill.
For Media, leagued with Sheba,
Falls down and worships Thee:
Tarshish and Ethiopia,
The Isles and Araby.
Glory, LORD, Thy servants pay
To Thy wondrous might today!

Translator: John Mason Neale (1862)
Author: Cosmas, the Melodian, Saint, ca. 706-ca. 760

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