Pentecost Hymns: Part 1 of 3 Iam Christus astra ascenderat

Now Christ, gone thither, whence he came,

And throned midst the stars aflame,

Desired God’s promise to bestow,

The Father’s Gift to man below.

The solemn time was drawing nigh,

Replete with heavenly mystery,

On seven days’ sevenfold circles borne,

That first and blessed Whitsun-morn.

When the third hour shone all around,

There came a rushing mighty sound

And told the Apostles, while in prayer,

That, as ’twas promised, God was there.

Then from the Father’s light there came

That beautiful and kindly Flame,

To kindle every Christian heart,

And fervour of the Word impart.

With joy the Apostle’s breasts are fired,

Thus by the Holy Ghost inspired;

And straight, in divers tongues and speech,

The wondrous works of God they preach.

All nations to their voice give ear;

Barbarians, Latins, Grecians hear,

And lo, the wondrous word to all

Doth in familiar accents fall.

But Jewry, faithless even yet,

With mad, infuriate rage beset,

To mock Christ’s followers, combine,

As drunken all with new-made wine.

Thereat, with signs and works of might,

Stands Peter forth to teach aright

How Joel’s words, fulfilled this day,

Refute what there maligners say.

(From The Anglican Breviary)