Scripture Verse

There were…shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke 2:8

Introduction

Words: John G. C. Brain­ard, in Psalms and Hymns for Chris­tian Use and Wor­ship, 1845.

Music: Wood­stock (Dut­ton) Deo­da­tus Dut­ton, Jr., in Am­eri­can Psal­mo­dy, by Deo­da­tus Dut­ton and El­am Ives, Jr., 1829 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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

portrait
John G. C. Brainard (1796–1828)

Lyrics

To Thee, O God, the shep­herd kings
Their ear­li­est hom­age paid,
And waft­ed up­on an­gel wings
Their wor­ship was con­veyed.

And they who watched their flocks by night
Were first to learn Thy grace,
Were first to seek by dawn­ing light,
Their Sav­ior’s dwell­ing place.

The hills and vales, the woods and streams,
The fruits and flow­ers, are Thine;
Where’er the sun can send its beams
Or the mild moon can shine.

By Thee, the spring puts forth its leaves,
By Thee, comes down the rain,
By Thee, the yel­low har­vest sheaves
Stand rip­en­ing on the plain.

When win­ter comes in storm and wrath,
Thy sooth­ing voice is heard;
As round the farm­er’s peace­ful hearth
Is read Thy ho­ly Word.

Thus are we fos­tered by Thy care,
Supported by Thy hand;
Our he­ri­tage is rich and fair,
And this Thy chos­en land.