Behold! behold! what wonders here!
The gloomy night turns bright and clear,
A brilliant light dispels the shade,
The stars before it pale and fade.
A wondrous light it is, I trow,
And not the ancient sun shines now;
For, contrary to nature, night
Is turned by it to day so bright.
What means He to announce to us,
Who nature’s course can alter thus?
A mighty work designed must be,
When such a mighty sign we see.
To us vouchsafèd can it be,
The Sun of Righteousness to see,
The Star from Jacob’s stem so bright,
The Woman’s Seed, the Gentiles’ Light?
’Tis even so—for from the sky
Heav’n’s hosts with joyful tidings hie,
That He is born in Bethlehem’s stall,
Who Savior is and Lord of all!
Oh blessedness! the goodly throng
Of sainted fathers waited long
To see this day, with hope deferred,
As we may learn from God’s own Word.
It is a time of joy today,
With mourning and with woe away!
Woe, woe to him who us reviled!
God’s seen in flesh—we’re reconciled.
The Lord who bears our sin is here,
Who’ll bruise the serpent’s head is near,
The death of death—the woe of hell—
The Lord of Life with us doth dwell.
All foes are put our feet beneath.
For sin and Satan, hell and death,
Are brought to shame and put to flight
Upon this great, this wondrous night.
Oh! happy world, thrice happy they,
Who on this lowly Infant stay
Their souls, and with believing eyes
In Him their Savior recognize.
Now praise the Lord whoe’er can praise—
Who, from their low estate to raise
His enemies, from His high throne
Sent down His loved, His only Son.
Up! join the angel host and cry,
Now glory be to God most high;
Let peace prevail the world around.
Good-will to men and joy abound.