Tuesday, November 13, 2001

I was thinking about how the Advent season will soon be upon us, which reminded me of one of my favorite hymns (although these histories makes it sound as though it isn't an advent hymn at all!) . There are a few MIDI files with the hymntune. This one is good, this one is less so (but it repeats and it is where I got the text), this one might be the best.

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six wing├Ęd seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!

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Words: Liturgy of St. James, 4th Century (Σιγησατω πασα σαρξ βροτεια); translated from Greek to English by Gerard Moultrie, 1864.
Music: “Picardy,” French carol melody; harmony from The English Hymnal, 1906 (MIDI, score).

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