The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

While I My Flock Was Shepherding

Als ich bei meinenSchafen wacht'

For Christmas

Words and Music from the Köln Gesangbuch

Source: G. R. Woodward, ed., The Hymns and Carols for Christmas-tide (London: H. Grice, 1897), Carol #19, pp. 28-29.

While I my flock was shepherding,
Nowell I heard an Angel sing:

Wherefore I may sing and say,
On my way, blithe and gay,
Bless we the Lord our God today.

'At Bethlehem,' quoth he, 'this morn
'The Saviour Jesus Christ is born.'

        Wherefore I may, etc.

There lies an Infant in a stall
'That shall redeem poor sinners all.'

        Wherefore I may, etc.

Quickly I sought the place and found
The Babe in swaddling linen bound.

        Wherefore I may, etc.

He lift his eyes, my face he scanned:
I laid my heart within his hand.

        Wherefore I may, etc.

Right reverently I kissed his feet,
Whereat my soul grew wonder-sweet.

        Wherefore I may, etc.

Full loth I took my leave, but no,
Christ-child would with me homeward go.

        Wherefore I may, etc.

Then leaning on my bosom free
My heart's desire he granted me.

        Wherefore I may, etc.

Needs must I guard my Treasure fast,
So shall my joy for ever last.

        Wherefore I may, etc.

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