Behold what splendor, hear that shout,
Heaven opens, angels issue out,
And throng the nether sky;
What joyful tidings do they bring,
Rapt at the approach of Israel’s king!
They speak their monarch nigh.
Why doth the King approach our land?
Comes He with terror in His hand,
The merits of our crimes?
Shepherds be glad, He comes with peace,
Not wrath but universal grace,
To bless earth’s distant climes.
See Heaven’s great heir, a virgin’s son,
Behold a manger for His throne,
Though spotless He must die;
Your is the guilt, but His the pain,
His is the sorrow, yours the gain,
Then let His praise be high.