The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

What Child Is This?

Version 2

Words: William Chatterton Dix, 1865.
These stanzas are from Dix' poem The Manger Throne.
There is also a Dix carol called The Manger Throne

Music: "Greensleeves," 16th Century English melody
Arranged by Sir John Stainer
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

1. What Child is this, who laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing; [1]
Haste, Haste, to bring him laud, [2]
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

2. Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear; for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading. Refrain

3. So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh
Come peasant, King to own Him;
The King of Kings salvation brings
Let loving hearts enthrone him. Refrain

1. Or: Whom shepherds guard, while angels sing; Return

2. Or: Haste, Haste, to bring him praise, Return

See this extensive note on Greensleeves from William Chappell, The Ballad Literature and Popular Music of the Olden Time. London: Chappell & Co., 1859, pp. 227-233.

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