John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Earlier this year, caerwynx celebrated National Poetry Month by posting a poem every day. I thought that was a good idea, so I'm stealing it for my celebration of the Christmas season. Starting today, the first Sunday of Advent, and continuing through January 6, Epiphany (a.k.a. Three Kings Day and Twelfth Night), I'll post a Christmas poem or hymn. And we'll kick it off today with what is arguably the most famous Advent hymn of all.

O come, O come, Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear:
    Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
    Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny;
From depths of hell thy people save,
And give them victory o'er the grave.
    Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
    Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
    Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
    Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heav'nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
    Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
    Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, thou Lord of Might,
Who to thy tribes of Sinai's height,
In ancient times did give the law,
In cloud and majesty and awe.
    Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
    Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Text from Latin Advent Antiphons
Tr. John Mason Neale (1818-1866)

By the way, the poems I post may nor may not be appropriate for the day on which I post them. For example, you may see some Christmas poems posted during Advent. I realize that this shows flagrant disregard of the ecclesiastical calendar and could result in being brought up on charges before the Permanent Judicial Commission, but I'll risk it.

Tags: advent: 2003, poet's corner

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