Scripture Verse

Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:13–14


Words: An­na M. E. Ni­chols, in Christ­mas Ca­rols New and Old, by Hen­ry R. Bram­ley & John Stain­er (Lon­don: No­vel­lo, Ew­er, 1871), pag­es 34–35.

Music: Ma­ria Tid­de­man (🔊 pdf nwc).

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


Glorious, beau­te­ous, gold­en-bright,
Shedding soft­est, pur­est light,
Shone the stars that Christ­mas night,
When the Jew­ish she­pherds kept
Watch be­side their flocks that slept.

But the stars’ sweet gold­en gleam
Faded quick­ly as a dream
’Mid the won­drous glo­ry-stream
That il­lum­ined all the earth,
When Christ’s an­gels sang His birth.

Soft and pure and ho­ly glo­ry,
Kings and seers and pro­phets hoa­ry,
Shed through­out the sac­red sto­ry:
While the priests, like shep­herds true,
Watched be­side God’s chos­en few.

But that light no more availèd,
And its splen­dor staight­way pal­èd
In His light whom an­gels hailèd;
Even as the stars of old,
’Mid the bright­ness lost their gold.

Now no more on Christ­mas night,
Is the sky with an­gels bright,
But for ev­er shines the Light;
Even He whose birth they told
To the shep­herds by the fold.

Since that Light then dark­ens ne­ver,
Let us all, with glad en­deav­or,
Sing the song that ech­oes ev­er:
Glory in the high­est Hea­ven!
Peace on earth to us for­giv­en.