Words: "Imitation of the original by H R B"
Source: Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., ca 1878), Carol# 43.
1. What soul-inspiring music
Thrills thro' the midnight air?
What sounds of heav'nly sweetness
Dispel all doubt and care?
Ev'ry star and constellation
Sheds a radiance doubly bright;
See the Pleiades and Orion
Glitter keenly in the height!
Sparkling fires, like twinkling blossoms,
Stud Night's robe with light.
2. Strange forms float hovering o'er us,
New sounds fall on our ear;
God's Angel bids us welcome,
His voice says, "Never fear!
Born to you in David's city
Lies the Saviour, all Divine,
David's Root and David's Offspring,
Promised Seed of David's line;
He is swathed and in a manger:
Take this for a sign."
3. Straight, crowds of heavenly warriors,
Outshining every star,
Stand forth round that one Herald
Proclaiming peace afar;
Choirs of Angels and Archangels,
Seraphim and Cherubim,
Thrones and Princedoms, Dominations,
Powers and Might which wax not dim;
Spirit-hosts in ranks celestial,
Raise one joyous hymn.
4. "Lord God, to Thee be glory,
In heights all height above;
Peace dwell on earth beneath us,
Towards men goodwill and love!
Heaven and earth are now united,
Man may see his Father's face:
Mary's Son, God's Word incarnate,
Is an endless Fount of Grace:
Therefore Righteousness may Mercy
And Truth Peace embrace."
5. Speed, Shepherds, leave your sheepfolds,
To Bethle'm haste away:
Fall on your knees before Him,
Salute Him while ye may:
Bring your offerings, bring your treasure,
Open wide each simple store:
Pipe and dance in rustic measure
In His Manger Him adore:
Every deed to give Him pleasure
Be yours evermore.
Sheet Music from Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., ca 1878).
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