Words: Martin Luther, in Geistliche Lieder (Wittenberg, Germany: 1535) (Von Himmel hoch da komm ich her). Translated from German to English by John Hunt, The Spiritual Songs of Martin Luther (London: Hamilton, Adams, 1853), pages 30–32.
A song for children on the nativity of the holy child Jesus.
If you have access to a good photo of Hunt (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you send us an e-mail?
From yonder world I come to earth,
To tell you of a Savior’s birth;
Let now the glad hosannahs ring—
Good news to fallen man I bring!
To you this day is born a child,
Son of a virgin undefiled;
A little babe—a gracious sight—
He’ll be your wonder and delight.
’Tis Jesus Christ, the heav’nly King!
Who doth for all a ransom bring:
He will Himself the Savior be—
From all your sins He’ll set you free.
He brings salvation from above,
Which God for you prepared in love;
That you with us beyond the sky
May live in bliss, enthroned on high!
Then mark you now the signs aright—
The crib, the swaddling mean and light;
The little Babe you there shall find,
Received and hailed by all mankind.
Oh! let us all be glad today,
And with the shepherds homage pay:
Come, see what God to us hath giv’n,
His only Son, sent down from Heav’n.
Awake, my soul! from sadness rise,
Come, see what in the manger lies:
Who is this smiling infant Child?
’Tis little Jesus, sweet and mild.
Twice welcome, oh! Thou heavenly Guest,
To save a world with sin distressed;
Com’st Thou in lowly guise for me?
What homage shall I give to Thee!
Ah! Lord, eternal heav’nly King,
Hast Thou become so mean a thing;
And hast Thou left Thy blissful seat,
To rest where colts and oxen eat?
Were this wide world much wider made,
With gold and costly gems arrayed;
E’en then, by far too mean ’twould be,
To make a little crib for Thee.
No silken robes surround Thy head—
A bunch of hay is all Thy bed!
Where Thou, a king, so rich and great,
Art bright as in Thy heav’nly state.
All this, my Lord, has come to Thee,
That Thou might’st show Thy truth to me:
Thou, who hast made the earth and sky,
Hast deigned, a helpless babe, to lie.
Jesus, my Savior, come to me—
Make here a little crib for Thee;
A bed make in this heart of mine,
That I may aye remember Thine.
Then, from my soul glad songs shall ring—
Of Thee each day I’ll gaily sing:
The glad hosannahs will I raise
From heart that loves to sing Thy praise!
Praise God, ye seraphs round the throne—
Praise ye the Father and the Son;
God’s angel doth to us appear—
Then let us hail the glad New Year.