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Oh, then the mysteries were unfurl'a

Of His triumphant reign,
How martyr blood, through all the world,

His kingdom should maintain.

Then grant us, Lord, with Thee to die,

With Thee again to rise :
With Thee from this vain world to fly,

To meet Thee in the skies.

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And now to Him, who vanquish'd death,

And shows the way to heaven,
To Christ from ev'ry human breath,

Be endless praises given.

INNOCENTS' DAY.

MATINS.

(Salveti, Flores Martyrum. No. 46.).

Hail, infant martyrs, new-born victims, hail!

Hail, earliest flowerets of the Christian spring! O'er whom, like rosebuds scattered by the gale,

The cruel sword such havoc dared to fling.

The Lord's first votive offerings of blood,

First tender lambs upon the altar laid, Around in fearless innocence they stood,

And sported gaily with the murderous blade.

Oh! what availed thee, Herod, this thy guilt,

This load of crime that on thy conscience lies ? The Lord alone, whose blood thou would'st have

spilt, Now mocks thy malice, and thy power defies.

Yes! he alone survived, when all the ground

Drank the red torrents of that carnage wild; Though many a childless mother wailed around,

The hand of murder spared the Virgin's child !

Jesu, Virgin-born! all praise to Thee,

And to the Father, and the Holy Ghost; One God eternal, ever honoured be,

By saints on earth, and by the heavenly host.

EVENSONG.

(Molles in agnos ceu lupus. No. 47.)

As wolves attack their helpless prey,
So Herod holds his murderous way,
And hopes, but oh! he hopes in vain,
To mingle Jesus with the slain.

The cradles flow with infant blood,
But God his fury hath withstood;
The Lord alone he sought to slay,
The Lord alone escapes away.

Ye mothers, let no tears be shed, -
Yea, weep not, though your babes be dead :
For now they stand around the Throne,
And Jesus counts them as his own.

The Father's name we loudly raise,
The Son, the Virgin-born, we praise;
The Holy Ghost we all adore,
One God, both now and evermore.

CIRCUMCISION.

MATINS.

(Felix dies, quam proprio. No. 48.)

Oh, happy day, when first was poured
The blood of our redeeming Lord !
Oh, happy day, when first began
His sufferings for sinful man!

Just entered on this world of woe,
His blood already learned to flow:
His future death was thus expressed,
And thus His early love confessed.

From heaven descending, to fulfil
The mandates of his Father's will,
E’en now behold the victim lie,
The Lamb of God, prepared to die;

Beneath the knife behold The Child,
The innocent, the undefiled;
For captives He the ransom pays,
For lawless man the law obeys.
Lord, circumcise our hearts, we pray;
Our fleshy natures purge away ;
Thy name, thy likeness may they bear :
Yea, stamp thy holy image there!
The Father's name we loudly raise,
The Son, the Virgin-born, we praise :
The Holy Ghost we all adore,
One God, both now and evermore.

EVENSONG,

(Victis sibi cognomina. No. 49.)

'Tis for conquering kings to gain
Glory o’er their myriads slain:
Jesu, thy more glorious strife,
Hath restored a world to life.
So no other name is given
Unto mortals under heaven,
Which can make the dead to rise,
And exalt them to the skies.

That which Christ so hardly wrought,
That which he so dearly bought,
That salvation, mortals, say,
Will you madly cast away;

Rather gladly for that name
Bear the cross, endure the shame;
Joyfully for Him to die
Is not death, but victory.

Dost thou, Jesu, condescend
To be called the sinners' friend?
Ours then it shall always be
Thus to make our boast of thee.

Glory to the Father be ;
Glory, Virgin-born, to thee;
Glory to the Holy Ghost,
Ever from the heavenly host.

SUNDAY AFTER CIRCUMCISION.

NOCTURN.

(Verbum quod ante secula. No. 50.)

THE Word, who dwelt above the skies

With God before the world began, Now on the Virgin's bosom lies,

A helpless new-born child of man.

Already on his sinless head

The streams of wrath begin to flow; Already, on his infant bed,

The taste of grief the Lord must know.

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