There were shepherds living out in the fields…keeping watch over their flocks at night.@Luke 2:8–9
Nahum Tate

Na­hum Tate (1652–1715), alt. The first known publication of the words below was in the Scottish Psalter and Paraphrases, 1800, page 452.

Beth­le­hem (Fink) Gott­fried W. Fink, 1842 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Gottfried W. Fink

While humble shepherds watched their flocks
In Bethl’hem’s plains by night,
An angel sent from Heav’n appeared,
And filled the plains with light.
Fear not, he said (for sudden dread
Had seized their troubled mind);
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you, and all mankind.

To you, in David’s town, this day
Is born, of David’s line,
The Savior, who is Christ the Lord;
And this shall be the sign:
The heav’nly Babe you there shall find
To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapt in swaddling-bands,
And in a manger laid.

Thus spake the seraph; and forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels, praising God; and thus
Addressed their joyful song:
All glory be to God on high,
And to the earth be peace;
Good-will is shown by Heav’n to men,
And never more shall cease.