From Highest Heaven I Come To Tell
For Christmas Eve, For Christmas
Words and Music: Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her, Martin Luther, Joseph Klug's Gesangsbuch, 1535
Translation: Rev. Henry Ramsden Bramley
Compare: From Highest Heaven I Come To Tell
Source: Edgar Pettman, ed., Modern Christmas Carols (London: Weekes & Co., 1892), #13.
1. From highest heaven I come to tell
The gladdest news that e'er befell.
These tidings true to you I bring,
And gladly of them say and sing.
2. " To you today is born a Child,
Of Mary, chosen virgin mild;
That blessed Child, so sweet and kind,
Shall give you joy and peace of mind.
3. " ' Tis Christ our Lord and God indeed,
Your help and stay in every need:
Himself your Saviour He will be,
From sin and death to set you free.
4. " All blessedness to you he bears
Which God the Father's love prepares:
The heavenly kingdom ye shall gain,
And now and ever with us reign.
5. " Now hear the sign, and mark with care
The swaddling clothes and crib so bare;
There shall ye find this Infant laid
Who all the world upholds and made. "
6. Then let us all our gladness shew,
And with the joyful shepherds go
To see what God for us hath done,
And given with His glorious Son.
7. Awake, my soul! my heart, behold
Who lieth in that manger cold!
Who is this lovely Baby-Boy?
' Tis Jesus Christ, our only joy.
8. Now welcome, ever-blessed guest,
To sinful souls with guilt opprest;
In mercy come to our distress!
How can we thank Thy gentleness?
9. Ah, Lord, who all things didst create,
How com'st Thou to this poor estate,
To make the hay and straw Thy bed,
Whereon the ass and ox are fed?
10. Nay, were the world ten times so wide,
With gold and gems on every side,
Yet were it all too small to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for thee.
11. Thy samite and thy silk array
Are swathing-bands and coarsest hay,
Whereon Thou shinest, King most bright,
As thoughThou sat'st in heavenly light.
12. And all this woe hath come to Thee
That thou might'st shew the truth to me;
For all the goods and gifts of earth
To Thee are vile and nothing worth.
13. Ah! Jesu, my heart's treasure blest,
Make Thee a clean, soft cradle-nest;
And rest and dwell within my heart,
That I from Thee may never part.
14. So shall I evermore rejoice,
And bounding sing, with heart and voice,
A lullaby which Thou wilt own,
The spirit's song of sweetest tone.
15. To God on high all glory be,
Who gave His only Son for me;
For which the Angels carol clear,
And sing us such a glad New Year.
Sheet Music from Edgar Pettman, ed., Modern Christmas Carols (London: Weekes & Co., 1892), #13.
Note from Pettman: No. XIII.—If found too long, some of the verses may be omitted, particularly as the music will not bear too much repetition, at least not at the same service.
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