Savior of the nations, come,
virgin’s Son, make here Thy home!
Marvel now, O heav’n and earth,
that the Lord chose such a birth.
Not by human flesh and blood,
but the Spirit of our God,
was the Word of God made flesh–
woman’s Offspring, pure and fresh.
Wondrous birth! O wondrous Child
Of the virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
still to be in heav’n enthroned.
From the Father forth He came
and returneth to the same,
captive leading death and hell–
high the song of triumph swell!
Thou the Father’s only Son,
hast o’er sin the victory won.
Boundless shall Thy kingdom be;
when shall we its glories see?
Brightly doth Thy manger shine,
glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin o’ercloud this light;
ever be our faith thus bright.
Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
ever and eternally.
—Ambrose of Milan, 4th cent.
German version, Martin Luther, 1523
tr. William M. Reynolds, 1880, alt.