Brightest and best of the sons of the morning

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General information

This is an hymn by Reginald Heber, first published in the periodical The Christian Observer, 1811, Volume 10, No. 11, p. 697.

Apparently, Heber's hymn was put to music first in 1830, in The Christian Lyre, in the song Star in the East, where Heber's first (and fifth) stanza becomes the chorus, with an anonymous first stanza (Hail the blest morn, see the great Mediator); Heber's stanzas two through four become the following stanzas of Star in the East.

Heber orig­in­al­ly wrote this hymn for the Feast of the Epi­pha­ny. It did not ap­pear in hym­nals un­til af­ter He­ber’s death.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

The Christian Observer, 1811

1. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid!
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid!

2. Cold on his cradle the dew-drops are shining,
Low its his bed with the beasts of the stall;
Angels adore him in slumber reclining,
Maker, and Monarch, and Savior of all!

3. Say, shall we yield him, in costly devotion,
Odors of Edom and offerings divine;
Gems of the mountain, and pearls of the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest, and gold from the mine!

4. Vainly we offer each ample oblation;
Vainly with gold would his favor secure:
Richer by far is the heart's adoration;
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor!

5. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid!
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

 

Brick Church Hymns, 1823

1. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning!
Shine on our darkness and lend us your aid;
Star in the east, the horizon adorning,
Guide where the infant Redeemer is laid.

2. Cold in his cradle the dew drops arc shining
Low lies his head with the beasts of the stall;
Angels adore him, in slumbers reclining,
Maker and Monarch, and Savior of all.

3. Say, shall we yield him, in costly devotion.
Odors of Eden, in offerings divine,
Gems from the mountain, and pearls from the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest, and gold from the mine?

4. Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gold would his favor secure;
Richer by far is the hearts' adoration,
Dearer to God are the pray'rs of the poor.

5. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning!
Shine on our darkness and lend us your aid;
Star in the east the horizon adorning,
Guide where the infant Redeemer is laid.

 

Evangelical Hymns (Lexington, Kentucky), 1829

1. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us your aid;
Star in the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

2. Cold was his cradle, the dew-drops were shining;
Low lies his head with the beasts of the stall;
Angels adore him in slumbers reclining,
Maker, and Monarch, and Sovereign of all.

3. Say, shall we yield him, in costly devotion,
Odors from Eden, and offerings divine?
Gems from the mountain, and pearls from the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest and gold from the mine?

4. Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly, with gold, we his favor secure;
Richer, by far, is the heart's adoration,
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

Variant 1
Brightest and best dawn on our darkness,
Star of the East, lend us thine aid;
And guide us to your throne,
Brightest and best.

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