Alternate Title: Love Came Down At Christmas
Words: Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894), before 1886
Daniel E. Gawthrop, 1998; a commission for Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Bethesda, Maryland. See Love Came Down.
1. Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.
2. Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?
3. Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.
The format, capitalization and punctuation of the poem follow that printed in William Michael Rossetti, ed., The Poetical Works Of Christina Georgina Rossetti (London: MacMillan & Co., Ltd., 1904, reprint of 1935, Poem #195, page 159.
Eric Routley in The English Carol (1959) noted that other settings for this poem include those by Basil Harwood, Sidney Hann, R. O. Morris, Edgar Pettman and Eric Thiman, plus "one arrangement of an Irish folk song" (presumably "Garton", above, and also known as "Gatan"). The Morris setting, "Hermitage," can be found in the 1933 Presbyterian Hymnal (#133). William Studwell in The Christmas Carol Reader (1995) also notes the arrangement by John Ernest Borland (above).
Other poems set to music: