Contents Hostis Herodes impie
Why, Impious Herod Vainly Fear

Written by Caelius Sedulius (5th cent). This hymn is a continuation of the hymn A solis ortus cardine and is used for Vespers on Epiphany.

HOSTIS, Herodes impie,1
Christum venire quid times?2
Non eripit mortalia,
qui regna dat caelestia.
WHY, impious Herod, vainly fear
that Christ the Savior cometh here?
He takes no earthly realms away
Who gives the crown that lasts for aye.
Ibant Magi, quam viderant,3
stellam sequentes praeviam:
Lumen requirunt lumine:
Deum fatentur munere.
To greet His birth the Wise Men went,
led by the star before them sent;
called on by light, towards Light they pressed,
and by their gifts their God confessed.
Lavacra puri gurgitis
caelestis Agnus attigit:
peccata, quae non detulit,
nos abluendo sustulit.
In holy Jordan's purest wave
the heavenly Lamb vouchsafed to lave;
That He, to whom was sin unknown,
might cleanse His people from their own.
Novum genus potentiae:
aquae rubescunt hydriae,
vinumque iussa fundere,
mutavit unda originem.
New miracle of power divine!
The water reddens into wine:
He spake the word: and poured the wave
in other streams than nature gave.
Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
qui apparuisti gentibus,
cum Patre, et almo Spiritu,
in sempiterna saecula. Amen.
All glory, Lord, to Thee we pay
for Thine Epiphany today;
all glory as is ever meet,
to Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

From the Breviary and the Liturgia Horarum. Translation by J. M. Neale (1818-1866).

Changes made by Pope Urban VIII in 1632 to the Roman Breviary:
1 Crudelis Herodes, Deum
2 Regem venire quid times?
3 Some sources show this line as: Ibant Magi, qua venerant

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