Light in the Darkness Lyrics for A Carol for the Twelfth Day
8. A Carol for the Twelfth Day
Now to conclude our Christmas mirth,
With the news of our redemption,
We end our songs on our Savior's birth,
With the one that deserves our attention.
Three great wonders fell on this day;
A star brought Kings where the Infant lay,
Water made wine in Gallilee,
And Christ baptized in Jordan.
Those Kings might have known what Balaam of old
Said of a star that would rise
In Jacob's land, where he foretold
The coming of the Messias.
Jaspar, Melchior and Balthasar
Set out when they saw the new bright start,
Leaving their eastern kingdoms far
To find out the new-born Jesus.
They steered their course to the Jewish Court,
Where to find him they did not doubt,
But met with a stranger crowned.
They tyrant Herod shocked at the news
To hear of a new-born King of the Jews,
In dread the usurped crown to lose,
Ordered a bloody slaughter.
But for amends in this surprise
Those straying Kings did visit
The Temple made by Solomon the Wise,
The world had nothing like it.
Sapphires and gold there they could see,
Diamonds rich and ivory,
Embroidered silks and tapestry
From both sides of the Indias.
Yet nothing rare or rich in art,
Not finding him, could please them
They are told of Bethlehem to depart,
No court toys could delay them.
Their guiding star again did appear
And to the city straight did steer,
And over the stall resting most clear
It bade the monarchs welcome.
Amazed to see the cottage poor,
The stall where he was born,
They left their retinue at the door,
Though great, they entered without scorn;
The blessed babe and Mother found,
Laying their crowns and sceptres down,
Adored him prostrate on the ground
And might have spoken as follows:
"O King of Kings here in disguise,
Whom stars obey and angels serve,
Though wealth and grandeur You despise,
You have given us more than we deserve.
Our beds are gold and Ivory,
Our garments riched with embroidery,
Beset with stones and pageantry,
Whilst you lie in a stable."
"Here's gold and myrrh and frankincense,
Not to enrich we bring,
But to honour thee, O heavenly Prince,
As God and Man and King.
Incense to You as God is due,
The gold shows kingly power too,
The myrrh keeps corpse long sweet and new;
We have heard how You must suffer."
"And when the grand affair is done,
The world from hell redeemed,
When God has glorified his Son,
At length by men esteemed,
Let out poor pagan nations in,
And to Thy happy sheepfold bring,
That free from blindness and from sin,
We may in truth adore You."
What else might have passed, you may conceive,
In this fond conversation;
They bade farewell, taking their leave,
Home to their habitation;
Farewell good Christians, fare you well too;
Many happy Christmases I wish you;
With a blessed end for to ensue,
Through the merits of sweet Jesus.