She brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.@Luke 2:7
portrait
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

Anonymous, in Hymnal for Primary Classes, compiled by Edwin W. Rice (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: American Sunday School Union, 1896), number 141, alt.

Kingsfold English tune, arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1906 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Long, long ago in manger low,
Was cradled from above,
A little child, in whom God smiled,
A Christmas gift of love;
When hearts were bitter and unjust,
And cruel hands were strong,
The noise He hushed with hope and trust,
And peace began her song.

Where’er the Father’s Christmas gifts
Seem only frost and snow,
And anxious stress and loneliness,
And poverty and woe;
Straightway provide a welcome wide,
Nor wonder why they came;
They stand outside our hearts and bide,
And knock in Jesus’ name.

For trouble, cold, and dreary care
Are angels in disguise,
And greeted fair, with trust and prayer,
As peace and love they rise;
They are the manger, wide and low,
In which a Christ child lies;
O welcome Guest, Thy cradle nest
Is always God’s surprise.