There were…shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them.@Luke 2:8–9

From Germany, sometime between the 13th & 17th Centuries (Quem pastores laudavere). Translated from Latin to English by John Fulton; appeared in Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young, edited by John H. Hopkins, (New York: James Pott, 1887), number 53.

Quem Pastores melody from Hohenfurth (now Vyšší Brod, Czech Republic) manuscript, 1410 (🔊 pdf nwc).

While their flocks the shepherds tended,
Heavenly hosts to earth descended,
Singing, with all voices blended,
Fear not, Christ is born today.

Eastern seers rich gifts had wrought Him,
Gold, frankincense, myrrh they brought Him;
Guided by a star they sought Him,
Prince of Life and Victory.

On that Child with Mary gazing,
Join ye Christians all in raising
Songs to Him whom Heaven is praising,
God incarnate come to men.

From this day’s first dawn to even,
Praise to Christ our King be given
By all earth, and all in Heaven,
In our sweetest, loftiest praise.