Scripture Verse

I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10


Martin Luther (1483–1546)

Words: Mar­tin Lu­ther, in Geist­liche Lied­er (Wit­ten­berg, Ger­ma­ny: 1535) (Vom 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.

Music: Vom Him­mel hoch, in Geist­liche Lied­er, by Val­en­tin Schu­mann (Leip­zig, Ger­ma­ny: 1539). Har­mo­ny by Jo­hann S. Bach (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Hunt (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


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.