Scripture Verse

She brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7


A Christmas Garland, A. H. Bullen, 1885

Words: Tho­mas B. Mur­ray, Lays of Christ­mas (Lon­don: Fran­cis & John Riv­ing­ton, 1847), num­ber 3.

Music: Christ­mas Song Karl P. Har­ring­ton, 1904 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

Karl P. Harrington (1861–1953)


Would we learn to give thanks, let us turn to the scene
Which the Scrip­ture this morn­ing un­folds to our view;
For what­ev­er at Beth­l’hem was pain­ful and mean,
O, be­lieve me, my friends, it was suf­fered for you.

’Tis the time of the tax­ing, and crowds flock around;
To the vil­lage of Beth­l’hem their jour­ney hath been;
But for yon low­ly vir­gin and Child there is found
No home in the vil­lage, no room in the inn.

All the ox­en are rest­ing at ease, as they fold
Beneath them for com­fort each warm co­vered limb;
But the Child in the sta­ble is pinched with the cold,
More warmth and more com­fort are want­ed for Him.

’Tis the first of His sor­rows: re­ject­ed, dis­tressed,
With a man­ger His cra­dle, and hay for His bed,
While the herds are in stall, and the birds in their nest,
There’s no home for the Sav­ior, no rest for His head.

In the sta­ble ’tis lone; but re­joic­ing is nigh;
For e’en now do the lips of the shep­herds de­clare,
How their night-watch was brok­en with light from on high,
When the song of the an­gels was sweet in the air;

Singing, Glo­ry to God, and good-will up­on earth!
In that hymn let be­liev­ers, with heart and with voice,
Exulting unite, on Im­ma­nu­el’s birth,
And, like an­gels at Beth­l’hem, be glad and re­joice.

In the sta­ble ’tis dark; but above is the star,
Which hath guid­ed, through rug­ged and dan­ger­ous ways,
The wise and the great from their dwell­ings afar,
To pay hon­or and gifts to the In­fant of Days.

He shall live to re­deem; and to Him shall be giv’n
A name that is great. Through His mer­its alone
Prayer and praise shall as­cend, as the in­cense, to Heav’n;
And all hearts up­on earth His do­min­ion shall own.