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S. STEPHEN'S DAY.
STICHERA AT VESPERS.
τῷ Βασιλεῖ καὶ Δεσπότῃ.
The LORD and King of all things But yesterday was born:
And Stephen's glorious off'ring
His birthtide shall adorn. No pearls of orient splendour, No jewels can he show;
But with his own true heart's blood
Come, ye that love the Martyrs,
For this our suppliant throng:
For peace and favour pray!
Thou first of all Confessors,
Of all the Deacons crown,
The glory and renown:
[In contrast with the above Stanzas, the reader may not be displeased to compare the celebrated sequence of Adam of S. Victor, Heri mundus exultavit; which has never yet, I believe, appeared in English.]
HERI MUNDUS EXULTAVIT.
Yesterday, with exultation
Join'd the world in celebration
Of her promis'd Saviour's birth :
Yesterday the Angel nation
O'er the Monarch born on earth.
But to-day, o'er death victorious,
Forward, champion, in thy quarrel ! Certain of a certain laurel,
Holy Stephen, persevere ! Perjur'd witnesses confounding, Satan's Synagogue astounding
By thy doctrine true and clear.
Lo! in Heav'n thy Witness liveth;
For a crown that fadeth never,
Death shall be thy birth's beginning,
Whom the HOLY GHOST endueth,
See, as Jewish foes invade thee,
Stands, to guard His champion's death!
As the dying Martyr kneeleth,
For their madness grieving sore;
STICHERA FOR CHRISTMAS-TIDE.
μέγα καὶ παράδοξον θαῦμα.
A great and mighty wonder,
The Word is made Incarnate,
And we with them triumphant
And peace on earth to men!"
While thus they sing your Monarch,
Ye oceans, clap your hands!