Peaceful Were The Plains That Night
"Night and Morning"
Words: William Chatterton Dix (1837-1865)
Music by Peter Franck, A. D. 1658,
Arranged by T. Worsley Slaniforth.
Meter: 76 76 76 76
Source: W. Chatterton Dix, ed., Christmas Carols & Christmas Customs (No publisher, location or date; ca. 1870), #11, p. 3.
Peaceful were the plains that night,
Where the sheep lay sleeping ;
Stars shine out like flowers of light,
In the Angels’ keeping :
Things seemed as they ever were,
Since the fathers slumbered—
Suddenly the cohort fair,
What the tidings that they brought
To the royal nation ?
Wonder which the Lord had wrought
Through the Incarnation :
This they told, that God was born
Of the Mother-maiden :
Therefore leap the sad this morn,
Rest the heavy-laden.
Clouds and darkness hie away,
Light o'er earth is breaking,
Since the Old Law’s sunset-ray
Died last night, forsaking
Temple, sacrifice, and rite
Of the ancient letter ;
Old things past, the Lord of Might
Brings us new and better.
Yesterday for thee, poor world,
But to-day for Jesus ;
Pride and scorning down are hurled,
’Tis a Babe Who frees us.
Dreary years of waiting past,
Now is come Salvation ;
Peace, goodwill, and, wrought at last,
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