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: Clara H. Thwaites. Pub­lished in A Select­ion of One Hund­red Tunes Com­posed by Jo­si­ah Booth (Lon­don: Simp­kin, Mar­shall, Ha­mil­ton, Kent, 1909), num­ber 77.

Music: Cos­ta Mesa Jo­si­ah Booth, 1909 (🔊 pdf nwc) (re­peats last line of each verse).

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

Josiah Booth (1852–1929)


Shepherds their watch amid their flocks were keep­ing
Dim were the hills be­neath Ju­de­an skies,
When one bright se­raph, as the world lay sleep­ing,
With light ce­les­ti­al blessed their won­der­ing eyes.

Behold! I bring glad tid­ings to all peo­ple,
For un­to you,
he cried, the Christ is born!
This is the news that rings from tower and stee­ple,
Throughout the land on ev­ery Christ­mas morn.

And then the an­gel told them of the man­ger,
Where lay the ho­ly Child, in poor ar­ray,
Where He, the King of kings, a home­less stran­ger,
For love of man was born on Christ­mas Day.

Then sud­den­ly, as if the courts of Hea­ven
Were ov­er­flow­ing with its joy and love,
A host of an­gels from the skies all riv­en,
Sang the high prais­es of the Lord above.

Glory to God! To God the high­est glo­ry!
And bene­dic­tions fell like sum­mer rain.
Peace up­on earth! un­til the world is hoa­ry,
No song so sweet will fall to earth again.