Today, January 6th, is the Feast of the Epiphany! The day when the Three Kings come to the manger to pay homage to the Christ Child.
Scholars know tell us that the "real Wise Men" were probably very little we depict them, but the Biblical imagery is beautiful and powerful.
This hymn, "O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness," is one of my very favorites! I remember that the first time I heard this, I think sung at Carlisle Cathedral in England, it completely swept me away. It still does.
Sadly, I don't think it is in ANY American hymnals.
The tune comes from "Choral-Buch vor Johann Heinrich Reinhardt," dating from 1754, and is known by the name, "Was lebet".
The glorious text is by John Samuel Bewley Monsell, L.L.D., son of Thomas Bewley Monsell, Archdeacon of Londonderry, was born at St. Columb's, Londonderry, March 2,1811, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin (B.A. 1832, LL.D. 1856). Taking Holy Orders in 1834, "he was successively Chaplain to Bishop Mant, Chancellor of the diocese of Connor, Rector of Ramoan, Vicar of Egham, diocese Worcester, and Rector of St. Nicholas's, Guildford. He died in consequence of a fall from the roof of his church, which was in the course of rebuilding, April 9, 1875.
This text isn't so much about the Kings, it's more about humbleness and acceptance of the love of God. It's very special.
The score is attached below, as well as a drawing of the author of the text, J. B. Monsell.
The full text is given in the First Comment.