The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), The Christmas Oratorio, 1734
Part 2, For the Second Day of Christmas, St. Luke 2:8-14
No. 12, Chorale

Sheet music available at RoDeby Music Company

Break forth, O beauteous heav'nly light,
And usher in the morning;
Ye shepherds, shrink not with affright,
But hear the angel's warning.
This child, now weak in infancy,
Our confidence and joy shall be,
The power of Satan breaking,
Our peace eternal maling.

German Original:

Brich an, o schönes Morgenlicht,
Und laß den Himmel tagen!
Du Hirtenvolk, erschrecke nicht
Weil  dir die Engel sagen,
Daß dieses schwache Knäbelein
Soll unser Trost und Freude sein.
Dazu den Satin zwingen
Und letzlich Frieden bringen.

Free English Translation:

Break through, oh lovely light of morn,
and let the heavens dawn!
You shepherd folk, be not afeared,
because the angel tells you.
that this weak babe
shall be our comfort and joy,
thereto subdue the devil
and bring peace at last.


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