Scripture Verse

There were…shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them. Luke 2:8–9


Words: From Ger­ma­ny, some­time be­tween the 13th and 17th Cen­tu­ries (Quem pas­tor­es lauda­ve­re). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John O’Con­nor in Arun­del Hymns, by Hen­ry Fitz­a­lan-How­ard & Charles T. Gat­ty, 1902, num­ber 29.

Music: Quem Pas­tor­es me­lo­dy from Hoh­en­furth (now Vyš­ší Brod, Czech­ia) man­u­script, 1410 (🔊 pdf nwc).


Shepherds, tell your beauteous story,
How the dazzling angel glory
Sang to Juda’s hillsides hoary,
Born is your eternal King.

Bethlehem hath now beholden
Kings of tribes far off and olden,
Incense, myrrh and treasure golden
To her conquering Lion bring.

So with Mary’s gladness blending,
Let our thankfulness ascending
Scale high Heav’n in sweet contending
With the angels’ glorious choir.

God with us, thro’ Mary, dwelleth!
This dear grace all praise excelleth;
Let the song such bliss that telleth
In its own great joy expire.