The angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.@Luke 2:9

Italian carol, in Laude Spirituali, 1674 (Poiché l’umil Capanna); translated to English by K. W. Simpson.

Capanna, composer unknown (🔊 pdf nwc).

illustration
Shepherds Abiding in the Fields
Carl H. Bloch (1834-1890)

To weary shepherds sleeping,
A blinding light appeared;
And from their couches sleeping,
They scattered, all afeared;
But Gabriel spake to calm them
From all that did alarm them.

With silver wings and golden
A mighty host they saw;
Ne’er had their eyes beholden
Such majesty before.
Said Gabriel that even,
I come from God in Heaven.

And while his words they ponder
The angel host around
Cried: In a manger yonder
The King of kings is found!
Go shepherds, do not tarry;
Your loving homage carry.

In joy they turned their faces
To where they heard He lay,
And merry were their paces
And songs upon the way.
And when the dawn was creeping
They found Him sweetly sleeping.

Their gifts they laid around Him
With shy and humble word,
And—happy to have found Him—
They lingered and adored.
While Gabriel—upward winging—
Now peace on earth! was singing.