O Chief of Cities Bethlehem

1. O chief of cities, Bethlehem, Of David's crown the fairest gem, But more to us than David's name, In you, as man, the Savior came.

2. Beyond the sun in splendor bright, Above you stands a wondrous light Proclaiming from the conscious skies That here, in flesh, the Godhead lies.

3. The wise men, seeing Him so fair, Bow low before Him, and with prayer Their treasured eastern gifts unfold Of incense, myrrh, and royal gold.

4. The golden tribute owns Him King, But frankincense to God they bring, And last, prophetic sign, with myrrh, They shadow forth His sepulcher.

5. O Jesus, whom the Gentiles see, With Father, Spirit, One in Three: To You, O God, be glory giv'n By saints on earth and saints in Heav'n.

Words: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-413). v. 1,2,4 Translated by N. B. Smithers, 1879,v. 3 Translated by C. W. Douglas, v.5 Translated by John, Marquess of Bute c. 1879.
Music: 'Puer Nobis Nascitur' Michael Praetorius, 1609.
Setting: George Ratcliffe Woodward for "The English Hymnal", 1906.
copyright: public domain. This score is a part of the Open Hymnal Project, 2007 Revision.

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