The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

It Is The Day, The Holy Day

A New Christmas Carol

Words and Music: Unknown

Source: Joshua Sylvester, A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern (London: John Camden Hotten, 1861), pp. 127-128.

1. It is the day, the Holy day,
On which our Lord was born,
And sweetly doth the sunbeams gild
The dew-besprinkled thorn.
The birds sing through the heavens,
And the breezes gently play,
And song and sunshine lovely
Begins this Holy day.

2. 'Twas in a humble manger,
A little lowly shed,
With cattle at his infant feet,
And shepherds at his head,
The Saviour of this sinful world
In innocence first lay,
While Wise Men made their offerings
To him this Holy day.

3. He comes to save the perishing,
To waft the sighs to heaven
Of guilty men, who truly sought
To weep, to be forgiven.
And intercessor still he shines,
And men to him should pray
At his altar's feet for meekness
Upon this Holy Day.

4. As flowers still bloom fair again,
Though all their life seems shed,
Thus we shall rise with life once more,
Though number'd with the dead.
Then may our stations be near Him,
To whom we worship pay,
And praise with heartfelt gratitude,
Upon this Holy day.

Sylvester's Note:

Such is the title of a pleasing little hymn which occurs on a sheet printed at the beginning of the present century. It does not appear to have been gathered into any previous collections.

Note that Hugh Keyte, an editor of The New Oxford Book of Carols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) believes that "Joshua Sylvester" is a pseudonym for a collaboration between William Sandys (1792-1874) and William Henry Husk (1814-1887). See Appendix 4.

Also found in William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity. London: John Camden Hotten, 1868

This was a favourite in the metropolis in the early part of the present century, and is to be seen on broadsheets then printed in Bloomsbury and Clerkenwell. It has only once, however, been reprinted in a collection ["Sylvester," 1861].

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