Scripture Verse

Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. Luke 2:12

Introduction

Words: From a se­quence by Mar­burne, Or­der of St. Be­ne­dict, Ab­bot of Liv­ry, 15th Cen­tu­ry (O ter fe­cun­das, O ter ju­cun­das). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John C. Earle, 1883. Pub­lished in An­nus Sanc­tus, Vol­ume 1, ed­it­ed by Or­by Ship­ley (Lon­don & New York: Burns & Oates, 1884), pag­es 31–32.

Music: York. Me­lo­dy from the Scot­tish Psal­ter, 1615. Har­mo­ny by John Mil­ton, Sr. (1562–1647) (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Earle (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

Lyrics

illustration
Adoration of the Shepherds
Gerard van Honthorst (1590–1656)

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.