Scripture Verse

…a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:13–14


Words: Hen­ry R. Bram­ley, 1871.

Music: Old Bé­ar­naise ca­rol (🔊 pdf nwc).

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


What soul in­spir­ing mu­sic
Thrills through the mid­night air?
What sounds of heav’n­ly sweet­ness
Dispel all doubt and care?
Every star and con­stel­la­tion
Sheds a ra­di­ance doub­ly bright;
See the Plei­ads and Ori­on
Glitter keen­ly in the height!
Sparkling fires, like twink­ling blos­soms
Stud night’s robe with light.

Strange forms float ho­ver­ing o’er us,
New sounds fall on our ear;
God’s an­gel bids us wel­come,
His voice says, Ne­ver fear!
Born to you in Da­vid’s ci­ty
Lies the Sav­ior, all di­vine,
David’s root and Da­vid’s off­spring,
Promised seed of Da­vid’s line;
He is swathed and in a man­ger;
Take this for a sign.

Straight, crowds of hea­ven­ly war­ri­ors,
Outshining ev­ery star,
Stand forth round that one he­rald
Proclaiming peace afar;
Choirs of an­gels and arch­an­gels,
Seraphim and che­ru­bim,
Thrones and prince­doms, do­mi­na­tions,
Powers and might which wax not dim;
Spirit-hosts in ranks ce­les­ti­al,
Raise one joy­ous hymn.

Speed, shep­herds, leave your sheep­folds,
To Beth­l’em haste away;
Fall on your knees before Him,
Salute Him while ye may:
Bring your of­fer­ings, bring your trea­sure,
Open wide each sim­ple store;
Pipe and dance in rus­tic mea­sure,
In His man­ger Him adore;
Every deed to give Him plea­sure
Be yours ev­er­more.