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: 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].
If you know where to get a good photo of Gaskell or Lemare (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you ?
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.