The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The First Cradle Song

Fannie Aymar Matthews

Source: Henry Bramley, “Christmas Carols,” From: T. De Witt Talmage, DD, Ed., Frank Leslie's Sunday Magazine. Vol. XIX, No. 1. (New York: Frank Leslie's Publishing House: January, 1886), p. 10.

Swing softly, bells, on Christmas morn
Wake not the King of Glory!
Swing soft and swift, across the snow,
The old Judean story.

Blow gently, winds, on Christmas mom !
And rock His cradle meekly;
Ye little zephyrs from the clouds.
Soothe all His slumbers sweetly.

Ye Christmas roses, bow your heads—
His infant grace adoring—
The lavish incense of your breath,
About His couch outpouring.

Sing lowly, too, ye little birds,
Lest Mary's Babe awaken.
Sing low the news of Jesus' birth,
To every soul forsaken !

And, oh, ye viols, lutes and harps—
The angel strain repeating—
Praise ye the Day star of the sky !
Send round His world His greeting!

Wake ! Read ye not—oh. tearful eyes,
The sign that shall release us?
And hear ye not, from out the East,
The cradle song of Jesus?

'Tis “Peace on earth, goodwill to men,”
Hist ! all the bells are swinging,
And all the roses bow their heads;
And all the birds are singing !

Oh, " Peace on earth, goodwill to men,"
Light of the world at dawning,
We hail Thee—child and God in one.
On this Thy Christmas morning !

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