The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Hail! Holy Child, Lain In An Oxen Manger

Words : George Ratcliffe Woodward

Music: Quittez, pasteurs, vos brebis et houlette, an old Flemish air, harmonized by Charles Wood.

Source: Charles Wood and George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cambridge Carol-Book, Being Fifty-Two Songs For Christmas, Easter, And Other Seasons (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1924), #12.

1. Hail! Holy Child,
Lain in an oxen manger,
Of Jesse stem,
Yet scorn'd at Bethlehem,
In winter wild,
As ne'er to fore was stranger,
Constrain'd, as I hear tell,
Outside, outside a churlish inn to dwell,
Outside, outside a churlish inn to dwell.

2. Methink I stand
Today in David's City,
And twang the chord
For David's Son and Lord:
If, harp in hand,
I make but tuneless ditty,
Yet, Babe, Thou know'st that I
Assay, assay my best a lullaby,
Assay, assay my best a lullaby.

3. What if my flute
Break time with Angel singers,
Or not surpass
The Alto of you ass;
What if my lute
Be pluck's with artless fingers,
Of if my voice be Base,
Now flat, now flat, now sharp, bereft of grace,
Now flat, now flat, now sharp, bereft of grace.

4. Thou wilt accept
My song, nor reprehend it:
For Thee, above
All earthly things, I love:
And, tho' inept my lay,
Thou wilt amend it,
And where 'tis our of joint,
Canst make, canst make my false true counterpoint.
Canst make, canst make my false true counterpoint.

Sheet Music to Music: Quittez, pasteurs, vos brebis et houlette, an old Flemish air, harmonized by Charles Wood from  Charles Wood and George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cambridge Carol-Book, Being Fifty-Two Songs For Christmas, Easter, And Other Seasons (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1924), #12.

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