Scripture Verse

There was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:13–14

Introduction

portrait
Anne Brontë (1820–1849)

Words: Anne Brontë, in Po­ems by Cur­rer, El­lis, and Ac­ton Bell (Lon­don: Ay­lott & Jones, 1846).

Music: Pa­ter Om­ni­um Hen­ry J. E. Holmes, 1875 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a bet­ter pho­to of Holmes,

portrait
Henry J. E. Holmes (1852–1938)

Lyrics

Music I love—but ne’er a strain
Could kin­dle rap­tures so di­vine,
So grief as­suage, so con­quer pain,
And rouse this pen­sive heart of mine;
As that we hear on Chris­tmas morn,
Upon the win­try breez­es borne.

Though dark­ness still her em­pire keep,
And hours must pass, ere morn­ing break;
From trou­bled dreams, or slum­bers deep,
That mu­sic kind­ly bids us wake:
It calls us, with an an­gel’s voice,
To wake, and wor­ship, and re­joice.

To greet with joy the glo­ri­ous morn,
Which an­gels wel­comed long ago,
When our re­deem­ing Lord was born,
To bring the light of Hea­ven be­low;
The pow­ers of dark­ness to dis­pel,
And res­cue Earth from death and hell.

While list­en­ing to that sac­red strain,
My rap­tured spir­it soars on high;
I seem to hear those songs again
Resounding through the op­en sky,
That kin­dled such di­vine de­light,
In those who watched their flocks by night.

With them, I ce­le­brate His birth;
Glory to God, in high­est Heav’n,
Good will to men, and peace on Earth,
To us a Sav­ior king is giv­en;
Our God is come to claim His own,
And Sa­tan’s pow­er is ov­er­thrown!

A sin­less God, for si­nful men,
Descends to su­ffer and to bleed;
Hell must re­nounce its em­pire then;
The price is paid, the world is freed,
And Sa­tan’s self must now con­fess,
That Christ has earned a right to bless.

Now ho­ly peace may smile from Hea­ven,
And heav’n­ly truth from earth shall spring:
The cap­tive’s gall­ing bonds are riv­en,
For our Re­deem­er is our king;
And He that gave His blood for men
Will lead us home to God again.