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This simple but effective setting evokes the wonder of the Bethlehem star as well as the journey of the magi and the mystic meaning of their precious gifts.
BETHLEHEM OF NOBLEST CITIES
Words: Prudentius (348-410AD), translated by Edward Caswall
Music: Simon Clark
Bethlehem, of noblest cities
none can once with thee compare;
thou alone the Lord from heaven
didst for us incarnate bear.
Fairer than the sun at morning
was the star that told his birth;
to the lands their God announcing,
seen in fleshly form on earth.
By its lambent beauty guided
see the eastern kings appear;
see them bend, their gifts to offer,
gifts of incense, gold and myrrh.
Solemn things of mystic meaning:
incense doth the God disclose,
gold a royal child proclaimeth,
myrrh a future tomb foreshows.
Holy Jesus, in thy brightness
to the Gentile world displayed,
with the Father and the Spirit
endless praise to thee be paid.