November 15, 2012

Behold a Rose of Judah

She Bore for Men a Savior

Behold a Rose of Judah is an adaption of the 15th century Marian hymn: Es ist ein Ros Entsprungen (A Rose Has Spring Up). The original words of the German carol are of anonymous authorship and were first published along with the traditional folk tune commonly associated with Es ist ein Ros in 1599. There are differing English variations, but the 1894 translation by Theodore Baker: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming remains popular. In the Liturgy of the Hours, Behold, a Rose of Judah is used during Advent.

LO, HOW A ROSE E’ER BLOOMING by Theodore Baker, 1894 (Public Domain)

1. Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

2. Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

3. The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.

4. This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

5. O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!

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