The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Christmas Day Is Come

For Christmas

One of the Kilmore Carols from Waddinge and Devereux
The Second Carol for Christmas Day

Also known as The Irish Carol

Compare: Christmas Day Has Come, a slightly different version.

Author: Unknown
Attribution to Luke Wadding is incorrect.

Tune: The Brown Little Mallet
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer

From The Kilmore Carols

Source: Joseph Ranson, “The Kilmore Carols” from The Past, no. 5 (1949), pp. 68-71.

Christmas Day is come; Let us prepare for mirth,
Which fills the Heav'ns and Earth, At His amazing Birth.
Through both thy joyous angels, In strife and hurry fly,
With glory and Hosannas, Holy, Holy they cry.
In Heav'n the church triumphant ,Adores with all her choirs,
The militant on earth, With humble faith admires.

But how can we rejoice, should we not rather mourn
To see the Hope of nations thus in a stable born?
Where is His crown and sceptre, where is His throne sublime?
Where is his train and majesty that should the stars outshine?
Is there no sumptuous palace, is there no inn at all
To lodge His heavenly Mother—but in a filthy stall?

Why does He thus demean, or thus Himself disguise?
Perhaps He would conceal Himself from cruel enemies.
He trusts but two dumb beasts afeeding on their hay:
He steals to us at midnight that none should Him betray.
And His Supposed father a carpenter must be,
That none should yet discover the sacred mystery.

Yet He does not intend to shun His fate decreed;
His death must be the ransom by which mankind is freed.
With a long course of suffering for thirty years and three.
Which must be all completed upon Mount Calvary.
For these He now reserves Himself, contented to begin
In poverty and misery to pay for all our sin.

Cease ye blessed angels such clamorous joys to make;
Though midnight silence favours, the shepherds are awake;
And you, O glorious star, that with new splendour brings
From the remotest parts three learned eastern Kings,
Turn someway else your lustre, your rays elsewhere display,
Herod will slay the Babe, and Christ must straight away.

Alas! to teeming nature we offer rules in vain,
When big with such a prodigy it can’t itself contain:
The rocks were split asunder to grieve our Saviour’s death,
And at His Resurrection the dead sprung from the earth.
Can we now expect that on His joyful birth,
The creatures should conceal their triumph and their mirth?

Then let our joys abound, now all His griefs are o'er;
His victory we celebrates His sufferings we deplore.
This was the toil and slavery that getting was for us;
Yo're welcome, thrice welcome, Divine Saviour Jesus!
Your Christmas is in glory. your torments are all past;
Whate’er betide us now grant us the same at last.

If we would rejoice let us cancel the old score,
And purposing amendment, resolve to Sin no more.
For mirth can ne’er content without a conscience clear;
You shall not find trite pleasure in all the usual cheer,
In dancing, sporting, revelling with masquerade and drum;
Then let our Christmas merry be as Christians doth become.

Sheet Music "The Brown Little Mallet" from Ranson, "The Kilmore Carols," p. 72.

Note by Joseph Ranson:

This Carol, with the music of the tune, “The Brown Little Mallet,” has been published in “Christmas Carols,” Book II, page 30, by Ralph Dunstan. It was contributed to Mr. Dunstan's collection by Dr. G. Flood.

These Carols were formerly sung in Lady's Island, Tacumshane, Tomhaggard and Ballymore. At Lady's Island, the last stanza of the carol given above used to be omitted, lest the references in the last lines should be wrongly interpreted.

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