“What Star is This” is an 1837 translation by John Chandler of Charles Coffin’s Latin hymn “Quae stella sole pulchrior” (1736). It is set to the tune Puer nobis, which is a 15th century German tune adapted by Michael Praetorius.
1 What star is this, with beams so bright,
more lovely than the noonday light?
’Tis sent to announce a newborn king,
glad tidings of our God to bring.
2 ’Tis now fulfilled what God decreed,
“From Jacob shall a star proceed;”
and lo! the eastern sages stand
to read in heaven the Lord’s command.
3 While outward signs the star displays,
an inward light the Lord conveys
and urges them, with tender might,
to seek the giver of the light.
4 O Jesus, while the star of grace
impels us on to seek your face,
let not our slothful hearts refuse
the guidance of your light to use.