Scripture Verse

There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. Luke 2:8–9


John Brownlie (1857–1925)

Words: Au­thor un­known. Trans­lat­ed to English by John Brown­lie, Hymns of the Ear­ly Church (Lon­don: Mor­gan & Scott, 1913), pag­es 50–51.

Music: Taun­ton Charles C. Treat, 1888 (🔊 pdf nwc)

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


Herdsmen keep­ing lone­ly vi­gil
While the earth in slum­ber lay;
Eager scanned the far ho­ri­zon,
For the com­ing of the day;
And a blaze of hea­ven­ly light,
Rent the cur­tains of the night.

Never shone a morn so ra­di­ant
Since cre­ation had its birth,
And the orb of day in full­ness
Shed its prim­al light on earth,
And the morn­ing stars abroad,
Triumphed with the sons of God.

Stay your com­ing, dawn and sun­rise,
For a Sun of high re­nown
Pours His light upon our dark­ness,
And this Orb shall ne’er go down;
Now Im­ma­nu­el, Christ our Lord,
Dwells on earth, in­car­nate Word.

Lift your eyes, ye lone­ly watch­ers,
See the host in rai­ment white;
List, the strains of hea­ven­ly mu­sic
Mingling with tran­scen­dent light;
Ne’er such mu­sic waked a morn;
Sons of men! the Christ is born.

Weary hearts that dwell in dark­ness!
Cast your dis­mal fears away;
Lo, the Sun on earth is shin­ing,
For the morn has ris­en to­day,
And the light that hailed His birth,
Pours its glo­ry on the earth.

Shepherds Abiding in the Fields
Carl H. Bloch (1834–1890)