Star of Bethlehem

by Viktor Rydberg and translated by Mark Safstrom

Starlight on sea and sand,
distant reflection.
Light who, at God’s command,
heralds redemption,
shines forth from heaven’s dome,
leads not away, but home.
Shepherds and children see,
follow you joyfully,
brilliantly shining star,
brilliantly shining star.

Stars in the midnight sky
glide over Zion,
arcing unceasingly
toward the horizon.
Shepherds in slumbers deep,
infant in gentle sleep
wake to a glorious sound
angels in choir resound.
Look to the East, a star,
Bethlehem’s shining star!

Leaving their fields and flock,
paradise-seeking
shepherds in darkness walk,
starlight them leading.
Star, up in heaven’s dome,
leads not away, but home.
Shepherds and children see,
follow you joyfully,
brilliantly shining star,
brilliantly shining star.

See all articles by Viktor Rydberg

Mark Safstrom is Chief Editor of Pietisten, and teaches Swedish language and Scandinavian literature at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

See all articles by Mark Safstrom