Scripture Verse

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


Thomas Campbell (1777–1844)
Wikimedia Commons

Words: Tho­mas Camp­bell (1777–1844).

Music: Hes­per­us Hen­ry Bak­er, 1854. First pub­lished in A Hym­nal for Use in the Eng­lish Church, by John Grey, 1866 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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


When Jordan hushed his waters still,
And silence slept on Zion’s hill;
When Salem’s shepherds through the night
Watched o’er their flocks by starry light;

Hark! from the midnight hills around,
A voice, of more than mortal sound,
In distant hallelujahs stole,
Wild murmuring o’er the raptured soul.

Then swift to every startled eye,
New streams of glo­ry gild the sky;
Heaven bursts her azure gates, to pour
Her spirits to the midnight hour.

On wheels of light, on wings of flame,
The glo­ri­ous hosts to Zion came;
High Hea­ven with songs of triumph rung,
While thus they smote their harps and sung:

O Zion! lift thy raptured eye,
The long expected hour is nigh;
The joy of nature rise again,
The Prince of Salem comes to reign!

See Mercy, from her golden urn,
Pours a rich stream to those that mourn;
Behold, she binds with tender care,
The bleeding bosom of despair.

He comes to cheer the trembling heart,
Bids Satan and his host depart;
Again the day-star gilds the gloom,
Again the bowers of Eden bloom!