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

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

Maria Tiddeman (🔊 pdf nwc).

illustration
From Christmas Carols New and Old, 1871

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.