Breviary Hymns and Missal Sequences, Saint John the Baptist, Matins

The dark desert caves, from thy tenderest years,
Thou soughtest, with prudence avoiding the throng
Of men, lest thy life should be stained in the least
By sins of the tongue.

The camel thy members rough covering gave,
The sheepskin, with which thou wast girded, was rude,
Pure water for drink, and wild honey thou hadst,
With locusts, for food.

The rest of the Prophets could only foretell,
With prescient spirit, the coming of day,
Thou pointest to Him, who the sins of the world
Now taketh away.

More holy than John no man was e’er born,
Look out as you might o’er the wide world around;
For Him to baptize, who all sin washed away,
He worthy was found.

Praise be to the Father and his Only Son,
To Thee be the same, Blessed Spirit of Love,
One God with Them Both for all ages to come,
Who reignest above. Amen.

– translated by Archbishop Edward Gilpin Bagshawe, C.O., Bishop of Nottingham, England