Bethlehem, of noblest cities


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.


Words: Prudentius (348-410), O sola magnarum urbium;
trans. Edward Caswall (1814-1878), 1849 (?)

Music: Stuttgart (Christian Friedrich Witt, 1660-1716)

Meter: 87 87

Hymnal, Year Number Tunes Other comments
Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861-1874      
The Anglican Hymn Book, 1868       
The Sarum Hymnal, 1869 064 Sollt es gleich  
The Church Hymnal, 1871 (Hall & Whiteley)      
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Goodrich & Gilbert)      
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Tucker & Rousseau)      
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Hutchins)      
Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874      
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1874      
Hymns Ancient & Modern, Standard, 1875-1924      
A Church of England Hymn Book, 1879 131    
The Universal Hymn Book, 1885      
The Hymnal Companion, 1890      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Darlington)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Parker)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Hutchins)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Tucker & Rousseau)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Helfenstein)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Messiter)      
The Yattendon Hymnal, 1900
     
Church Hymns, New Edition, 1903 110 Stuttgart  
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Edition, 1904      
The English Hymnal, 1906 040 Stuttgart  
The Book of Common Praise, 1908      
The Hymnal 1916      
Church Hymnal for the Christian Year, 1917      
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1919      
Church Hymnal Revised, 1920
(Hutchins)
     
The Oxford Hymn Book, 1925 077 Stuttgart  
Songs of Praise, 1925 058 Stuttgart  
Songs of Praise, Enlarged Edition, 1931 084 Stuttgart  
The Book of Common Praise, 1938      
The Hymnal 1940      
Hymns Ancient & Modern, Revised, 1950      
The Mirfield Mission Hymn Book, 1955      
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1960      
Anglican Hymn Book, 1965      
The Hymn Book 1971      
The Australian Hymn Book / With One Voice, 1977      
The Hymnal 1982      
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard, 1983      
The New English Hymnal, 1985      
Hymns for Today's Church, second edition, 1988      
Church Family Worship, 1988      
Hymns Old & New, New Anglican Edition, 1996      
Common Praise (The Anglican Church of Canada), 1998      
Together in Song: The Australian Hymn Book II, 1999      
Sing Glory, 1999      
Complete Mission Praise, 2000      
Common Praise: Hymns Ancient & Modern, 2000      
Hymns Old & New, Complete Anglican Edition, 2000      
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 2000      

Website compiled by Steve Benner, 1999-2003.