Shades of silent night dividing,
Bursts the glory from above;
Down the stream of brightness gliding,
Comes the messenger of love;
To the shepherds lowly, telling
Of the Christ expected long,
While the sudden anthem, swelling
Fills the flowing heav’n with song.
Heav’n will guard their flocks from danger
Scattered o’er the moist green sward,
While the swains to Bethlehem’s manger,
Hie to greet their newborn Lord.
Awe and love maternal blending,
Fill the blessèd virgin’s heart;
While with reverent gesture bending,
Kneel these humble men apart.
Not alone do men unlearnèd
Bow the holy Child before:
Sages who for truth long yearnèd
Heav’ns true Sun at length adore.
So our songs proclaim a story
Kings of old have longed to know;
Tell of Christ, the Prince of Glory,
Born this night, for high and low.