Scripture Verse

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. Isaiah 9:2

Introduction

illustration
The Nativity
Antonio da Correggio (1489–1534)

Words: Ri­chard Cra­shaw, Steps to the Tem­ple 1646 (cen­to from Cra­shaw’s Hymn of the Na­ti­vi­ty).

Music: Lest We For­get George F. Blan­chard, 1898 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

  • Częstochowa, Ger­man, be­fore 1900 (🔊 pdf nwc)

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Crashaw or Blanchard (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you send us an e-mail?

Lyrics

Gloomy night embraced the place
Wherein the noble Infant lay:
The Babe looked up and showed His face;
In spite of darkness, it was day!
It was Thy day, sweet! and did rise
Not from the east, but from Thine eyes.

We saw Thee in Thy balmy nest,
Young dawn of our eternal day!
We saw Thine eyes break from the east
And chase the trembling shades away;
We saw Thee, and we blessed the sight;
We saw Thee by Thine own sweet light.

Welcome, all wonders in one sight!
Eternity shut in a span!
Summer in winter, day in night!
Heaven on earth, and God in Man!
Great little One! Whose lowly birth,
Lifts earth to Heav’n, stoops Heav’n to earth.

To Thee, meek Majesty! soft King
Of simple graces and sweet loves;
Each one of us his lamb will bring,
And each his pair of silver doves;
Till burnt in fire of Thy fair eyes,
Ourselves become our sacrifice!