Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain

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Melody - "Schwing dich auf", from the Geistliche Andachten, Berlin, 1666; Seq. by Richard Jordan
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John of Damascus, c. 750, tr. by John M. Neale, 1859
Left: 1941 Lutheran Hymnal version
Right: 1916 Episcopal Hymnal version

Come, ye faithful, raise the strain
Of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought His Israel
Into joy from sadness.
'Tis the spring of souls today:
Christ hath burst His prison
And from three days' sleep in death
As a sun hath risen.

2. All the winter of our sins,
Long and dark, is flying
From His light, to whom we give
Laud and praise undying.
Neither could the gates of death
Nor the tomb's dark portal
Nor the watchers nor the seal
Hold Thee as a mortal.

3. But today amidst Thine own
Thou didst stand, bestowing
That Thy peace which evermore
Passeth human knowing.
Come, ye faithful, raise the strain
Of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought His Israel
Into joy from sadness.

Come, ye faithful, raise the strain
Of triumphant gladness!
God hath brought His Israel
Into joy from sadness:
Loosed from Pharaoh's bitter yoke
Jacob's sons and daughters,
Led them with unmoistened foot
Through the Red Sea waters.

2. 'Tis the spring of souls to-day:
Christ hath burst His prison
And from three days' sleep in death
As a sun hath risen.
All the winter of our sins,
Long and dark, is flying
From His light, to whom we give
Laud and praise undying.

3. Now the queen of seasons, bright
With the royal day of splendour,
With the royal feast of feasts,
Comes its joy to render;
Comes to glad Jerusalem,
Who with true affection
Welcomes in unwearied strains
Jesus' resurrection.

4. Neither might the gates of death,
Nor the tomb's dark portal,
Nor the watchers, nor the seal,
Hold Thee as a mortal.
But to-day amidst the Twelve*
Thou didst stand, bestowing
That Thy peace which evermore
Passeth human knowing.


* or, But to-day amidst thine own

The version on the right is much closer to Neale's translated version.

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