The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

While Shepherds Watch'd Their Flocks By Night

"Song of the Angels at the Nativity of our Blessed Saviour. "

Luke II. from ver. 8 to ver. 15

Words: Nahum Tate, ca. 1700.

Tune: "To St. James Tune, or any other Time of 8 and 6 Syllables," according to Tate and Brady.

Source: "Supplement to the New Version of the Psalms." 1733.

While Shepherds watch'd their Flocks by Night,
    all seated on the Ground,
The Angel of the Lord came down,
    and Glory shone around.

" Fear not, said he ; (for mighty dread
    " had seiz'd their troubled Mind ;) "
" Glad Tidings of great Joy I bring
    " to you and all Mankind.

" To you, in David's Town, this day
    " is born of David's Line
" The Saviour, who is Christ the Lord" ;
    " and this shall be the Sign :

" The heav'nly Babe you there shall find
    " to humane View display'd.
" All meanly wrapt in swathing bands,
    "and in a Manger laid."

Thus spake the Seraph ; and forthwith
    appear'd a shining Throng
Of Angels praising God, and thus
    address their joyful Song :

" All Glory be to God on high,
    " and to the Earth be Peace ;
" Good Will, henceforth, from Heav'n to Men
    " begin, and never cease."

Sheet Music to Psalm XIX ("St. James Tune") from Brady and Tate, eds., A Supplement  to the New Version of the Psalms. (1733), pp. 8-9.

St_James_Tune-1733-pp8-9.jpg (39223 bytes)


Text , verified and formatted from the version printed in the 1733 version of A New Version of the Psalms of David.

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