Words and Music: John H. Hopkins, Jr, 1857
John Henry Hopkins, Jr. (1820-1891) first worked as a reporter and intended on a law career, but changed his mind and entered the General Theological Seminary in New York City. He graduated in 1850 and became the seminary’s first music teacher. He wrote We Three Kings for a Christmas pageant at the seminary in 1857.
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We Three Kings
John H. Hopkins, Jr, 1857
We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.
Born a king on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.
Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, voices raising,
Worship Him, God on high.
Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.Verse 5
Glorious now behold Him arise;
King and God and sacrifice;
Sounds through the earth and skies.