Scripture Verse

The angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. Luke 2:10–12


Franz J. Haydn (1732–1809)

Words: Jo­seph Hart (1712–1768).

Music: Aus­tria (Hay­dn) ar­ranged by Franz J. Hay­dn, 1797, pos­si­bly from a Cro­atian folk tune (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know when this hymn was writ­ten, or where to get a good pic­ture of Hart (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


Let us all with grate­ful prais­es
Celebrate the hap­py day,
When the love­ly, lov­ing Je­sus
First par­took of hu­man clay:
When the hea­ven­ly host as­sem­bled,
Gazed with won­der from the sky:
Angels joyed and de­vils trem­bled,
Neither ful­ly know­ing why.

Long had Sa­tan reigned im­pe­ri­ous,
Till the wo­man’s pro­mised seed,
Born a babe by birth mys­te­ri­ous,
Came to bruise the ser­pent’s head.
Crush, dear Babe, his pow­er with­in us,
Break our chains, and set us free.
Pull down all the bars be­tween us,
’Till we fly, and cleave to Thee.

Shepherds on their flocks at­tend­ing,
Shepherds that in night­time watched,
Saw the mes­sen­ger des­cend­ing
From the court of Heav’n dis­patched.
Beams of glo­ry decked his mis­sion,
Bursting through the veil of night.
Fear pos­sessed them at the vi­sion:
Sinners trem­ble at the light.

Dove-like meek­ness graced his vis­age;
Joy and love shone round his head.
Soon he cheered them with his mes­sage:
Comfort flowed from all he said.
“Fear not, fa­vo­rites of th’Al­migh­ty,
Joyful news to you I bring.
You have now, in Da­vid’s ci­ty,
Born, a Sav­ior, Christ the King.

Go and find the roy­al Stran­ger
By these signs. A babe you’ll see,
Weak, and ly­ing in a man­ger,
Wrapped and swad­dled; that is He.

Straight a host of an­gels glo­ri­ous
Round the heav’n­ly her­ald throng,
Utt’ring, in har­mo­ni­ous chorus,
Airs di­vine, this the song—

Glory first to God be giv­en
In the high­est heights; and then
Peace on earth, pro­claimed by Hea­ven,
Peace, and great good will to men.

Thus they sang, with rap­ture kind­ling
In the shep­herds’ hearts a flame,
Joy and won­der sweet­ly ming­ling:
All be­liev­ers feel the same.

Lo, sweet Babe, we fall be­fore Thee.
Jesus, Thee we all ad­ore.
To Thee, king­dom, pow­er and glo­ry,
We as­cribe for­ev­er­more.
Glory to our God be giv­en
In the high­est heights; and then
Peace on earth brought down from Hea­ven,
Peace, and great good will to men.

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