O night of nights, supreme delights,
Thy watches charm and bless;
And joys of Heav’n, profusely giv’n,
Refresh earth’s wilderness.
The sad, sick world through Eve lies furled
In clouds of death and night;
But God doth rise in human guise
To be its life and light.
Whom angels own as God alone,
Is clothed by mortal hands;
In cattle stall, the Lord of all
Sleeps clasped in swathing bands.
In cradle laid, His voice is stayed,
Who is th’eternal Word:
The sun grows pale, his forces fail;
What means all we have heard?
O shaft of love, to God above
A rock hewn home is giv’n:
Farewell ye stars; hail, crib and bars;
A manger is my heaven.