The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

What Notes Shall Suit The Song Divine

Words: J. Waring

Music: Arranged by Mr. Herbert Stephen Irons
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Source: Rev. Richard R. Chope, Carols For Use In Church (London: William Clowes & Sons, Complete Edition, 1894), Carol #33

1. What notes shall suit the Song Divine,
That o'er the fields of Palestine,
The wondering Shepherd hears?
When, 'mid the gloom of wintry night,
    When, 'mid the gloom of wintry night,
A sudden burst of Heavenly light,
    A sudden burst of Heavenly light
O'er the still scene appears!

2. A Glory thus transcending far
The full-orbed moon and brightest star
First fills their hearts with fear;
But soon the Angel's soothing voice,
    But soon the Angel's soothing voice,
In strains that bid the earth rejoice,
    In strains that bid the earth rejoice,
Salutes the raptured ear.

3. "To you, this Day, a Saviour's born!
Go, seek Him at the rising morn;
For, found in humblest guise,
In Bethlehem's walls, of David's race,
    In Bethlehem's walls, of David's race,
A mean, but Heaven-protected place,
    A mean, but Heaven-protected place,
The Glorious Infant lies."

4. When now the voice of soothing sound
Has ceased, and silence reigns around;
Fresh on the listening ear,
Breaks forth a new and rapturous song,
    Breaks forth a new and rapturous song,
And suddenly a shining Throng --
    And suddenly a shining Throng --
The Angelic Choirs appear!

5. Hark! how the starry arches ring!
Glory to God on High, they sing;
And, to the sorrowing earth,
Peace and Goodwill from Heaven they bear;
    Peace and Goodwill from Heaven they bear;
And in Seraphic strains declare
    And in Seraphic strains declare
The Immortal Saviour's Birth.

Sheet Music from Chope

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