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Lo, how a Rose e’er Blooming


Michael Praetorius


ES IST EIN’ ROS’ ENTSPRUNGEN 1447 - Folk song, first published in Alte Catholische Geistliche Kirchengesäng, Köln, 1599


Lo how a rose - Praetorius

Created 15-Sep-08 Revised 20-Apr-09

Lo, how a Rose eer Blooming

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, most commonly translated to English as Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming, is of German origin. The text is thought to be penned by an anonymous author, and the piece first appeared in print in the late-16th century. The hymn has been used by both Catholics and Protestants, with the focus of the song being Mary or Jesus, respectively. In addition, there have been numerous versions of the hymn, with varying texts and lengths.

The tune most familiar today appears in the Speyer Hymnal (printed in Cologne in 1599), and the familiar harmonization was written by German composer Michael Praetorius in 1609. The tune was used by Johannes Brahms as the basis for a chorale fantasy for organ, later transcribed for orchestra by Erich Leinsdorf, and by Hugo Distler as the basis for his 1933 oratorio Weihnachtsgeschichte ("Christmas story").

The popular English translation "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" was written by Theodore Baker in 1894.


Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
aus einer Wurzel zart,
Wie uns die Alten sungen
von Jesse kam die Art
und hat ein Blümlein bracht mitten
in kalten Winter
wohl zu der halben Nacht.

Das Röslein, das ich meine,
davon Jesaia sagt,
ist Maria, die Reine,
die uns das Blümlein bracht'.
Aus Gottes ew'gem Rat
hat sie ein Kind geboren
und blieb doch reine Magd.

Das Blümelein so kleine,
das duftet uns so süss;
mit seinem hellen Scheine
vertreibts die Finsternis:
Wahr' Mensch und wahrer Gott,
hilft uns aus allen leiden
rettet von Sünd und Tod.


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 flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When halfspent 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 us a Saviour,
When halfspent was the night.

O Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From Sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Metasyntactic variable".

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