Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 13

"Sunset at Riefel", taken by one of my dearest friends,
Sandra Fiedler, of S.m.united photography.
You can see more of her work on her amazing facebook page.

Saw You Never in the Twilight
performed by Musica Sacra,
words by Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander, 1853

Saw you never, in the twilight, 
when the sun had left the skies,
Up in heaven the clear stars shining 
through the gloom, like silver eyes?
So of old the wise men, watching, 
saw a little stranger star,
And they knew the King was given, 
and they followed it from afar.

Heard you never of the story 
how they crossed the desert wild,
Journeyed on by plain and mountain, 
till they found the holy Child?
How they opened all their treasure, 
kneeling to that infant King;
Gave the gold and fragrant incense, 
gave the myrrh in offering?

Know ye not that lowly Baby 
was the bright and morning Star?
He Who came to light the Gentiles, 
and the darkened isles afar?
And we, too, may seek His cradle; 
there our hearts' best treasures bring;
Love, and faith, and true devotion 
for our Savior, God and King.

Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander was born in Redcross, County Wicklow, Ireland in 1818, and died in Londonderry in 1895.  Her husband was William Alexander, bishop of Derry and Raphoe, and later the Anglican primate for Ireland.  

She was the founder of the Girls' Friendly Society in Londonderry, and along with her sister, established a school for the deaf.

Humphreys Alexander wrote about 400 hymns in her lifetime, including the lyrics for one of my favourite pieces, "All Things Bright and Beautiful".

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