Scripture Verse

There were…shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke 2:8


Richard W. Adams (1952–)

Words: Will­iam C. Dix, A Vi­sion of All Saints (Lon­don: John Hod­ges, 1871) pag­es 123–24. Ar­ranged by Ri­chard W. Ad­ams, Ap­ril 2, 2019 (pub­lic do­main).

Music: Will­iam G. Coo­per, 1889 (🔊 pdf nwc).

William G. Cooper (1861–1938)


There was si­lence in Beth­le­hem’s fields that night,
Where the shep­herds were keep­ing their sheep;
And the stars calm­ly shone from their beau­ti­ful height,
While the flocks on the hills lay asleep;
Lo, the qui­et that fell in that ho­ly, mys­te­ri­ous hour
Spoke of pro­mise ful­filled, and of hope now re­vived
That for years had been robbed of her pow­er.

How drea­ry the ag­es of strife passed away,
Since this mar­vel­ous night was fore­told;
How still the deep qui­et that reigns ere the day,
And the mid­night so lone­ly and cold.
Love des­cend­ed to earth, where sheep on the hills lay asleep;
Then an an­gel spoke out of the won­der­ful birth—
That we no more need sor­row or weep.

Then sud­den­ly came to the angel most bright
All the host of the hea­ven­ly choir,
And a glo­ry broke forth far more dazz­ling to sight
Than the sun in its bright noon­day fire;
Now the si­lence is o’er, the pro­mise no long­er de­ferred,
The an­gels sang out, and the shep­herds looked up:
Good tid­ings from Hea­ven they heard.