Words: E. Mabel Dawson
1. Now, prithee, Minstrel, tell to me
Whose eyes the Angel hosts did see,
When loud they sang in holy glee,
That Christmas night in far Judee?
"Oh all the world lay wrapped in sleep,
None woke, or stirred from slumber deep,
Save just a flock of lowly sheep,
And shepherds who that flock did keep."
2. Now, prithee, Minstrel, who did hear
That first of Christmas carols dear,
When hosts of angels did appear,
And music sounded far and near?
"Oh, none did hear that carol sweet,
Which angels sang mankind to greet,
Save gentle sheep in safe retreat,
And shepherds from their watchful seat."
3. Say, who was there that blessed night,
To mark the wondrous, dazzling sight,
When earth lit with Heav'nly light,
And shining angels winged their flight?
"Oh, none beheld that sudden blaze,
Which lit the night with noon-day rays,
Save lowly sheep with wand'ring gaze,
And shepherds fill'd with great amaze."
4. Now, prithee, Minstrel, tell me why
To sheep and shepherds God on High
Did bid the herald Angels fly,
Proclaiming where the Babe did lie?
"Twas meet that Angel hosts were seen
By gentle sheep in pastures green,
For ere the world was made, I ween,
Dear Christ, the Lamb of God, hath been."
5. 'Twas meet that shepherds should behold,
And hear the blessed tidings told,
For Christ, true Shepherd of His Folk,
Was come to earth that winter cold.
O Lamb, O Shepherd, we would be
Thy sheep enfolded safe by Thee;
Now with the shepherds joyfully,
At Manger-Throne we bend the knee!
Sheet Music from Charles L. Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)
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