God is Born

Franciszek Karpiński, author of the God is Born, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franciszek_Karpi%C5%84ski

God is born, great powers tremble,
Lord of Heaven lies forsaken.
Fire is frozen, splendour darkens,
feeble nature God has taken.
Lowly born, yet Lord to Praises,
Mortal yet the King of Ages.

Now indeed the Word made Flesh has
come on earth to dwell among us.

One of the most popular Polish carols was written upon request of Marshal Princess Izabela Lubomirska née Czartoryska (1736 - 1816). The original title of the piece is “Song of the birth of the Lord”. The author of the lyrics was a well-known poet – Franciszek Karpiński, while the author of music – probably Karol Kurpiński. The song was performed at different melodies, so a folk origin of the current melody in the rhythm of the polonaise is possible. The fragment of the last verse referred to the estate of princes Lubomirski.

The Princess was a very active person, received at the most famous courts of Europe. She was involved in national and international politics. She cared about her subjects, but also was a patron of artists, painters, musicians, and poets. When travelling, she always visited the theatre, opera, listened to concerts, bought and ordered valuable works of art. She had a huge collection of music collections at the castle in Łańcut, consisted of about 400 operas. She played the clavichord in the chamber band herself. Her taste and sense was already recognized in her lifetime, for example, Adam Naruszewicz, the author of “A bunch for the name day of Princess Elżbieta Lubomirska, marshaless of the crown 1768” [“Bukiet na imieniny księżniczki Elżbiety Lubomirskiej, marszałkówny koronnej 1768”] dedicated his poems to her.

Franciszek Karpiński (1741 – 1825) came into contact with the princess during their stay in Vienna in the years 1769 – 1770. He dedicated a mention to her in his Memoirs [Pamiętniki] then. He was an excellently educated poet, fascinated by folk culture. He wrote idylls, love poems, patriotic and religious poems, laments, and elegies. He left memoirs, autobiography, and a large collection of letters. Some of his poems soon became popular, and evolved into songs. They include: When the Morning Lights Arise, Make him a place, The Lord comes from heaven, and God is born.


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