The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O For A Seraph's Tongue To Tell

For Christmas

Words: The Rev. Thos. Troche, M.A., Perpetual Curate of the Chapel Royal, Brighton.

Music: Not Stated.

Source: The Church of England Magazine, Volume LXXII, No. 2123 (London: January 13, 1872), pp. 31-32.

Hymn for the Year 1872

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men."óLuke ii. 14.

O for a seraph's tongue to tell
    The marvels of that midnight hour,
Which mock'd the rage of death and hell
    With music's gentle power !

Darkness prevailed o'er earth and men:
    Sweet sounds were hush'd; but, lo! a ray
Of light transcendent flash'd again,
    Herald of gospel day.

By hand unseen the golden gates
    Of heav'n are open flung, where he,
The angel of God's presence, waits
    To do His ministry.

'Tis Nature's rest. Their fleecy flock
    With wonted care the shepherds tend;
And now (but not their fears to mock)
    That angel must descend.

His message giv'n, with aspect fair,
    He re-ascends; when, lo! a throng
Of heav'n's trained minstrels rend the air
    With one grand theme of song.

"All glory be to God on high,
    And on th'unquiet earth be peace;
Good-will, henceforth, to men brought nigh
    From heav'n, ne'er more to cease."

"What meaneth this?" With eager eyes
    And throbbing hearts, these simple men
Would probe the depth of this surprise,
    And list that song again.

O, may our hearts like echoes ring,
    Nor feebly aim, with right endeavour,
To learn the songs blest angels sing,
    And sing those songs for ever!

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