Scripture Verse

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:14

Introduction

Words & Mu­sic: Jar­ed B. Wa­ter­bu­ry, in Child­ren’s Prais­es, ed­it­ed by Ju­li­us H. Wa­ter­bu­ry (New York Ci­ty and Ro­ches­ter, New York: D. M. Dew­ey and Pott, Young & Com­pa­ny, 1871), num­ber 75 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Jar­ed or Ju­li­us Wa­ter­bu­ry (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

Lyrics

On the wintry and lonely hillside,
All in the dim starlight,
Shepherds over the flock were keeping
Watch at the dead of night;
When swift angels of light came down,
And earth with hosannas rang;
Harps of gold and cherubic voices
Loudly and cheerly sang
At Bethlehem:

Refrain

Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill to men.

Earth was wrapped in a robe of winter:
Kindly the new-fall’n snow
Drew the veil of a virgin whiteness
Pure over guilt and woe.
Beasts of prey on the frozen mountain,
Flocks on the charmèd plain,
Nature all, in entrancèd rapture,
Listened to that sweet strain
From Bethlehem:

Refrain

Proudly marching along the forum,
Priests with a pompous train,
Closed the gates of the Roman Janus
Under a Cæsar’s reign.
Everywhere, and in every nation,
War, with its carnage grim,
Shouts and groans, and the roar of battle,
Ceased for the angel’s hymn
At Bethlehem:

Refrain

Lo! each oracle of the heathen
Soon disenchanted proves:
Through the gloom of the dark Dodona,
Dumb are the oaken groves;
Dumb the voice of Apollo’s priestess,
Delphi is left forlorn;
All the realms of the demons tremble,
Knowing their Conqu’ror born
At Bethlehem:

Refrain

Wide and wider at every Christmas
Echoes the joyful sound;
From Judea the glad good tidings
Now run the wide world round.
Sing, then sing, for the listening angels,
Bending on eager wing,
Join us now in the royal chorus
They were the first to sing
At Bethlehem:

Refrain