Scripture Verse

There were…shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke 2:8


Words: Will­iam W. New­ton, The Voice of St. John, and Oth­er Po­ems (New York: An­son D. F. Ran­dolph, 1881), pag­es 49–50.

Music: Sieh, hier bin ich Geist­reich­es Ge­sang­buch (Darm­stadt, Ger­ma­ny: 1698) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

William W. Newton (1843–1914)


Long ago, in so­lemn mid­night,
Shepherds watched up­on the plain,
When a band of ho­ly an­gels
Sang the earliest Christ­mas strain.


Hallelujah! Hal­le­lu­jah!
Glory be to God on high!

Gently flowed the si­lent wa­ters
In the still­ness of the night,
And the glit­ter­ing stars in hea­ven
Shone with pure and sil­ve­ry light.


Heav’n is op­ened, all its glo­ry
Bursts across the east­ern sky,
For the har­mo­ny of se­raphs
Tells that Christ, the Lord, is nigh.


Now the gold­en gates are op­en,
Enter ye, who love the Lord;
For the Sav­ior’s love hath tri­umphed,
As He pro­mised in His Word.


Join the an­gels in their cho­rus,
Praise the Lord, who came to die;
Praises in the high­est, prais­es;
Glory be to God on high.