The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A Song of Joy at Dawn


Words: Paul Gerhardt, 1651.
Trans. Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)

See: Christmas Poetry of Catherine Winkworth

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

All my heart this night rejoices,
        As I hear,
        Far and near,
Sweetest angel voices;
"Christ is born," their choirs are singing,
        Till the air
Now with joy is ringing.

For it dawns, -- the promised morrow
        Of His birth
        Who the earth
Rescues from her sorrow.
god to wear our form descendeth,
        Of His grace
        To our race
Here His Son He lendeth:

Yea, so truly for us careth,
        That His Son
        All we've done
As our offering beareth;
As our Lamb who, dying for us,
        Bears our load,
        And to God
Doth in peace restore us.

Hark! a voice from yonder manger,
        Soft and sweet,
        Doth entreat,
"Flea from woe and danger;
Brethren come, from all doth grieve you
        You are freed,
        All you need
I will surely give you."

Come then, let us hasten yonder;
        Her let all,
        Great and small,
Kneel in awe and wonder.
Love Him who with love is yearning;
        Hail the Star
        That from far
Bright with hope is burning!

Ye who pine in weary sadness,
        Weep no more,
        For the door
Now is found of gladness.
Cling to Him for He will guide you
        Where no cross
        Pain or loss,
Can again betide you.

Hither come, ye heavy-hearted;
        Who for sin
        Deep within,
Long and sore have smarted;
For the poison'd wounds you're feeling
        Help is near,
        One is here
Mighty for their healing!

Hither come, ye poor and wretched;
        Know His will
        Is to fill
Every hand outstretched;
Here are riches without measure,
        Here forget
        All regret,
Fill your hearts with treasure.

Blessed Saviour, let me find Thee!
        Keep Thou me
        Close to Thee,
Cast me not behind Thee!
Life of life, my heart Thou stillest,
        Calm I rest
        on Thy breast,
All this void Thou fillest.

Thee, dear Lord, with heed I'll cherish,
        Live to Thee,
        And with Thee
Dying, shall not perish;
But shall dwell with Thee for ever,
        Far on high
        In the joy
That can alter never.

Note: "The hymns in this series have been chosen from various sources, most of them being such as would be found in any standard collection. The greater number, however, are taken from [Christian Karl Josias] Bunsen's 'Versuch eines allgemeinen Gesang und Gebet buchs'  [1833]..."

This is one of many Winkworth translations that have been put to music. See: All My Heart This Night Rejoices - Verison 1.

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