Scripture Verse

…in Bethlehem of Judaea. Matthew 2:5


Words & Mu­sic: George P. Gran­tham, in Car­ols for Use in Church, by Ri­chard R. Chope (Lon­don: Will­iam Clowes & Sons, 1894), num­ber 86 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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


Shine calm and bright, ye moon­beams light,
O’er Beth­le’em’s town in slum­ber,
O’er young and old, o’er bur­gess bold,
And guests in good­ly num­ber;
For shel­tered safe from win­ter’s frost,
Well housed and warm all lie,
Secure from snow in street be­low,
And screened from fro­zen sky.
But Babe be­nign! No couch is Thine,
Save low­ly man­ger stall,
Where cold winds blow on Thy form di­vine,
Who com­est to save us all.

The crowds who sleep in Beth­le’em’s walls
Both ci­ti­zen and stran­ger,
From roya­l blood alike have sprung,
And spurn the hum­ble man­ger.
But all one day must wend their way,
Heaving their lat­est sigh,
To mor­tal doom in lone­some tomb,
And in cor­rup­tion lie.
But Babe be­nign! No pow­er ma­lign
Shall ov­er Thee bear sway;
Thy life of light in the heav­ens bright
Shall glow in eter­nal day!

To us, sweet Babe! Thy low­ly crib
Than cost­ly couch is dear­er,
It seems to make Thee more our own,
To bring the God­head near­er!
It seems to show Thy sym­pa­thy
For hu­man grief and pain,
And makes us long to raise the song
Of No­el o’er again!
O Babe be­nign! Thy love di­vine
Shed round us, day by day;
Sweet Child of light! Be Thou our might,
Our gen­tle King for aye!