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

Mrs. Anne Gas­kell, cir­ca 1879. The Mu­sic­al Times, vol­umes 20–21, page 610, 1879, ad­ver­tised the Third Ed­i­tion…Twelve Christ­mas Hymns and Car­ols, by Mrs. Gas­kell, set to mu­sic by ED­WIN LE­MARE, Or­gan­ist of Ho­ly Tri­ni­ty Church, Vent­nor [Isle of Wight].

Pa­dua Ed­win Le­mare (🔊 pdf nwc). Note: Le­mare’s son, a­lso named Ed­win, was a not­ed or­gan­ist, but was on­ly 14 years old in 1879.

Shepherds watching o’er the plain,
Tell us what ye heard,
Whisper of the glad refrain
That your bosoms stirred.

Shepherds, ye who saw the light
Through the riven clouds,
Tell us of that wondrous night
Ye in fear were bowed.

Tell us, shepherds, what ye saw
When the guiding star
Led ye to a bed of straw
In a cave afar!

Tell us of a mother meek,
Of a babe divine;
Tell us, show us, where to seek
That most holy shrine.