Thurlow, Jeremy: Of noblest cities

Of noblest cities (1999)

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 world its God announcing, seen in fleshly form on earth.
Eastern sages at his cradle make oblations rich and rare:
see them give, in deep devotion, god and frankincense and myrrh.
Sacred gifts of mystic meaning: incense doth their God disclose,
gold the King of kings proclaimeth, myrrh his sepulchre foreshows.
Holy Jesu, in thy brightness to the Gentile world displayed,
with the Father and the Spirit, endless praise to thee be paid.

Words: Prudentius (348–c.413) tr. Edward Caswall (1814–78)
Music: Jeremy Thurlow (b. 1976)