The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

What Is This Fragrance?

Words: Quelle est cette odeur agréable
Traditional French Noel (Lorrain)
Translator: K. W. Simpson

Music: Quelle est cette odeur agréable, Patrick Forbes
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer
Sheet music available at RoDeby Music Company

Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #51, pp. 24-25.

1. What is this fragrance softly stealing?
     Shepherds! It sets my heart a-stir!
Never was sweetness so appealing
     Never were flowers of spring so fair!
          What is this fragrance softly stealing?
          Shepherds! It sets my heart a-stir!

2. What is this Light around us streaming?
     Out of the dark – with blinding ray –
Purer than Star of Morning's seeming –
     Showing our path as plain as day!
          What is this Light around us streaming?
          Out of the dark – with blinding ray!

3. What is this Wonder all around us
     Filling the air with Music light!
Shepherds! Some Magic here hath found us!
     Never mine ears knew such delight!
          What is this Wonder all around us
          Filling the air with Music light!

4. 'Be not affrighted, Shepherds lowly!
     Hearken the Angel of the Lord!
Bearing a Message glad and Holy –
     Shedding a radience all abroad!
          'Be not affrighted, Shepherds lowly!
          Hearken the Angel of the Lord!

5. There, in a Manger with His Mother,
     Lieth our Saviour, Born today!
Come away Shepherds; Let none other
     Hinder thy coming now away!
          There, in a Manger with His Mother,
          Lieth our Saviour, Born today!

6. God in His charity and favour,
     Give ofHis grace to all a share!
Grace that aboundeth, now and ever,
     Peace that abideth everywhere!
          God in His charity and favour,
          Give of His grace to all a share!

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #51, pp. 24-25.

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