The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Now When Joseph And Mary

Words: English Traditional

Compare: Joseph and Mary, A Good Christmas Box (1847)

William Sandys, Christmas-tide, Its History, Festivities and Carols, With Their Music (London: John Russell Smith, 1852), pp. 268-71.

1. Now when Joseph and Mary
    Were to Bethlehem bound,
They with travelling were weary,
    Yet no lodging they found
In the city of David,
    Tho' they sought o'er all;
They, alas! could not have it,
    `But in an oxes stall.

2. The place was no braver
    But as mean as might be,
Our Redeemer and Saviour,
    The great King of Glory,
Then the sweet Babe of Heaven
    Was born there we find,
Whose sweet life was once given
    For the sins of mankind.

3. Whilst the shepherds were feeding
    Of their flocks in the fields,
The birth of our Saviour
    Unto them was revealing;
Many angels assembling,
    In their glory appearing,
Whilst the shepherds were trembling,
    Being smitten with fear.

4. O forbear to be fearful,
    We have reason to sing;
Then rejoice and be chearful,
    We glad tidings to bring:
There is born in the city
    Of David, therefore,
Such a Saviour of pity,
    Whom we all do adore.

5. He's the Prince of Salvation,
    Then be no afraid,
And with this salutation
    To the shepherds they said,
Be no longer a stranger,
    For in mean swadling clothes
He is laid in a manger;
    Then the shepherds arose.

6. Being resolved together
    They to Bethlehem go,
And when they came thither
    They found it was so;
They with duty adore him,
    Coming where he was laid --
Strait they fell down before him,
    This obedience they made.

7. Nay, the wise men, whose prudence
    Had discovered the star,
Come to pray their obedience
    When they travell'd from far;
Bringing with them the choicest
    That their land did afford,
Of gold, myrrh, and spices,
    To present to the Lord.

8. Their example engages
    Every Christian to be,
Ever since in all ages,
    Both noble and free;
Then rejoice and be merry,
    In a moderate way,
Never, never be weary,
    To honour this day.

9. Which afforded a blessing
    To the race of mankind,
Far beyond all expressing
    Therefore let us mind.
Whilst on earth he was dwelling,
    He was still doing good,
Nay, his love more excelling,
    For he shed his own blood.

10. To redeem us and save us
    From the guilt of our sins,
For His love he would have us
    A new life to begin;
Then remember the season,
    Be you kind to the poor,
It's no more than is reason,
    We have blessings in store.

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