Ere in thy childhood, mid the desert places

Ere in thy childhood, 'mid the desert places,
thou hadst a refuge from the city gained,
far from all slander and its bitter traces
living unstained.

Often had prophets in the distant ages
sung to announce the Daystar and to name him;
but as the Savior, last of all the sages,
thou didst proclaim him.

Than John the Baptist, none of all Eve's daughters
'ere bore a greater, whether high or lowly:
he was thought worthy, washing in the waters
Jesus the holy.

Angels in orders everlasting praise thee,
God, in thy triune majesty tremendous;
hark to the prayers we, penitents, upraise thee:
save and defend us.

Words: Paul the Deacon, eighth century;
trans. Richard Ellis Roberts, 1906

Music: Herr, deinen Zorn

Meter: 11 11 11 5

Website compiled by Steve Benner, 1999-2003.