The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Give Heed, My Heart

For Christmas Eve

Words: Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her, by Martin Luther
From Joseph Klug's Gesangsbuch, 1535
Notes and Translations: Notes for Vom Himmel Hoch Da Komm Ich Her

Text based on Luke 2: 1-18

Translated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth in Lyra Germanica, First Series, 1855.
These verses, though sung as a separate hymn, are only part of Winkworth’s translation (verses 7, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15).
From Heaven Above to Earth I Come is the full hymn.
From Heaven Above - Winkworth
See also:
Christmas Poetry of Catherine Winkworth

Music: "Vom Himmel Hoch," "Melody attributed to Luther; Geistliche Lieder, Leipsig, 1530"
"Jesu Redemptor Omnium," Katolischen Kirschen Gesangbuch, 1625
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML

1. Give heed, my heart, lift up thine eyes!
Who1 is it in that manger lies?
Who is the Child so young and fair?
The blessèd Christ Child lieth there.

2. Ah, Lord, who hast created all,
How hast Thou made Thee weak and small,
That Thou must choose Thy infant bed
Where ass and ox but lately fed!

3. Were earth a thousand times as fair,
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
She yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.

4. Ah! dearest Jesus, Holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

5. My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep;
I, too, must sing, with joyful tongue,
That sweetest, dearest cradle song.

6. Glory to God in highest heav’n,
Who unto man His Son has giv’n,
While angels sing, our hearts to cheer,
To all the earth a glad new year!


1. Or: What. Return

Sheet Music "Vom Himmel Hoch" from Henry Sloane Coffin and Ambrose White Vernon, eds., Hymns of the Kingdom of God. New York: The A. S. Barnes Company, 1910, #39, p. 75.

Sheet Music "Winchester New" by Crasselius from Mary Palmer and John Farmer, eds., Church Sunday School Hymn-Book (London: Church of England Sunday-School Institute, 1892), #44.

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