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Songs and Hymns of the Earliest Greek Christian Poets
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HYMN TO CHRIST.

βασιλευ αγιων, λογε πανδαματωρ

(Anapaestic dimeter.)

O Thou, the King of saints, all-conquering Word,

Son of the Highest, wisdom's Fount and Lord,

The prop that doth uphold through toil and pain;

The joy of ages through immortal reign;

Yet born of mortal flesh for life's brief span,

O Saviour Jesus, Shepherd, Husbandman;

Helm Thou to guide, and bridle to restrain,

Wing of the holy flock that heaven would gain;

Catcher of men from evil's whelming sea,

10The holy fishes, saved that are to be,

Drawn from the billowy deep with sweetest lure

Of life that shall for evermore endure:

O holiest Shepherd of enlightened sheep,

Lead Thou Thy flock the upward heavenly steep:

O King of holy children, lead the way,

And pure may they both follow and obey!

Thou art, O Christ, the living heavenly Way,

The ever-flowing Word, unchanging Day,

Eternal Light, and mercy's healthful Spring;

20The Perfecter of every virtuous thing;

Pure Life of all the happy ransomed throng

Who hymn their God through all the ages long:

The heavenly3434In this disputed passage, which I have ventured to render freely, I take the γαλα to be Christ Himself, in same way as βιοτε, πηγε, &c., above, and read εκθλιβομενον. milk, from holy breasts that flows,

By which the infant Church in wisdom grows,

And graces rare, as it befits the Bride,

Adorned, O Jesu Christ, for Thine own side.

Thy feeble children gather with sweet smile,

To sing with holy mouth, and free from guile,

Thyself, in songs and praises without end,

30The children's leader, and the children's friend.

O little children, thus so gently led,

So tenderly with truth and reason fed,

And filled with the Holy Spirit's dew,

Our hymns and praises feeble, yet all true,

In grateful homage unto Christ the King,

Who taught us life, let us together sing:

A peaceful choir, Christ-born, and undefiled,

A people wise, sing we the strong-born child;

Sing we with heart and voice, and never cease

40To praise with one accord the God of Peace!


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