John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey. Mark 1:6
Words: Charles Coffin (1676–1749) (Exiit cunis pretiosus infans). Translated from Latin to English by Isaac Williams, Hymns Translated from the Parisian Breviary (London: J. G. F. & J. Rivington, 1839), pages 209–10.
Music: Joe Uthup, 2017 (🔊 pdf nwc).
Now from his cradle comes the child,
By the Most High
Trained for his own great ministry:
He, far from man, drinks in the wild,
The springs of wisdom undefiled.
Far ’mid the desert caves profound,
’Mid low-browed rocks,
Where every noise lorn echo mocks,
The bees that in the rock abound,
And mountain streams, the only sound.
With limbs long trained to hardihood,
The camel’s hair
Wrapped rudely round his body bare,
There in the wild Christ’s soldier stood,
The desert spoils his only food.
With strong-bent hope his soul doth burn
From Satan’s thrall
That faithless nation to recall—
That fathers might of children learn,
And children to their fathers turn.
And now to God all praise declare,
In might arrayed,
The Father who the world hath made,
The Son who doth the world repair,
And Spirit that doth keep it fair.