Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.@Luke 2:14
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William H. Havergal (1793-1870)

William H. Havergal (1793-1870), alt. (🔊 pdf nwc).

How grand and how bright
That wonderful night,
When angels to Bethlehem came!
They burst forth like fires,
They struck their gold lyres,
And mingled their song with the flame.

The shepherds were mazed,
The pretty lambs gazed
At darkness thus turned into light:
No voice was there heard
From man, beast or bird,
So sudden and solemn the sight.

And then, when the sound reechoed around,
The hills and the dales all awoke:
The moon and the stars
Stopped their fiery cars,
And listened while Gabriel spoke:

I bring you, said he,
From the glorious Three,
Good tidings to gladden mankind;
The Savior is born,
But He lies forlorn
In a manger, as soon you will find.

At mention of this,
(The source of all bliss,)
The angels sang loudly and long;
They soared to the sky,
Beyond mortal eye,
But left us the words of their song:

All glory to God,
Who laid by His rod,
To smile on the world through His Son:
And peace be on earth,
For this wonderful birth
Wonderful conquests has won;

And good will to man,
Though his life’s a span,
And his thoughts so evil and wrong;
Then pray, Christians, pray;
But let Christmas day
Have your sweetest and holiest song.

Here are Havergal’s original lyrics for stanzas where, due to irregularities in meter, they do not fully fit the music:

I bring you, said he,
From the glorious Three,
Good tidings to gladden mankind;
The Savior is born,
But He lies all forlorn
In a manger, as soon you will find.

All glory to God,
Who laid by His rod,
To smile on the world through His Son:
And peace be on earth,
For this wonderful birth
Most wonderful conquests has won;

And good will to man,
Though his life’s but a span,
And his thoughts so evil and wrong;
Then pray, Christians, pray;
But let Christmas day
Have your sweetest and holiest song.