Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming


Be Swift, Be Precise

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

This carol is traditional. It is also scriptural in a traditional way.  It lifts a scripture passage, and combines it with the cultural assumptions of the time. It takes the tender plant of Isaiah, makes it a rose, and puts it into the wintertime of Christmas.

It also does something that many of the Christmas carols do not do — connect the Messiah of Israel with the savior of the new testament. It ignores the political connotation…

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