A Stranger Star O’er Bethlehem

Author: Orson F. Whitney
Composer: Varies by tune (see below)


Languages (2)

This song text has been indexed at SingPraises.net in the following languages:

  • Japanese: ベツレヘムの空


Statistics

Most common tunes for “A Stranger Star O’er Bethlehem”

This chart shows the tunes that are paired with this text most frequently, in hymnbooks and other collections published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If the text appears with the same tune in multiple editions or translations of the same hymnbook, it is only counted once.


Appearances of “A Stranger Star O’er Bethlehem” over time

This timeline shows which tunes have been used with this text over time, in hymnbooks and other collections published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Representative lyrics

English (Original Language)

A stranger star o’er Bethlehem

A Christmas Idyl (1883), 2

1. A stranger star o’er Bethlehem Shot down its silver ray Where, cradled in a manger’s fold, A sleeping infant lay. Whilst, guided by that finger bright, The Orient sages bring Rare gifts of myrrh and frankincense To hail the new-born King.

2. Oh wondrous grace! Will Gods go down Thus low that men may rise? Imprisoned here that Mighty One Who reigned in yonder skies? E’en so. Time’s trusty horologe Now chimes the hour of Noon— A dying world is welcoming The Godhead’s gracious boon.

3. He wandered through the faithless world, A Prince in shepherd’s guise; He called his scattered flock, but few The Voice would recognize; For minds upborne by hollow pride, Or dimmed by sordid lust, Ne’er look for kings in beggar’s garb— For diamonds in the dust.

4. He wept o’er doomed Jerusalem, Her temples, walls and towers; O’er palaces where recreant priests Usurped unhallowed powers. “I am the Way of Life and Light!” Alas! ’twas heeded not— Ignored Salvation’s message, spurned The wondrous truths He taught.

5. O bane of damning unbelief! Thou source of lasting strife! Thou stumbling-stone, thou barrier ’thwart The gates of Endless Life! O love of self and Mammon’s lust! Twin portals to Despair— Where Bigotry, the blinded bat, Flaps through the midnight air!

6. Through these, gloom-wrapt Gethsemane! Thy glens of guilty shade Wept o’er the sinless Son of God, By gold-bought kiss betrayed; Beheld him unresisting dragged— Forsaken, friendless, lone, To halls where dark-browed Hatred sat On Judgment’s lofty throne.

7. As sheep before His shearers, dumb, Those patient lips were mute; The clamorous charge of taunting tongues He deigned not to dispute. They smote with cruel palm His face— Which felt, but scorned the sting— They crowned with thorns His quivering brow, Then, mocking, hailed Him “King!”

8. On Calvary’s hill they crucified The God whom worlds adore! “Father, forgive them!”—Drained the dregs— Immanuel was no more. No more where thunders rocked the earth, Where lightnings, ’thwart the gloom, Saw that unconquered Spirit spurn The shackles of the tomb!

9. Far flashing on its wings of light— A falchion from its sheath— It cleft the realms of Darkness, and Dissolved the bands of Death. Hell’s dungeons burst! Wide open swung The everlasting bars, Whereby the ransomed soul shall win Those heights beyond the stars.