Words: Rev. Horatio Southgate
Music: Antonio L. Mora
Date of Creation: 1881
Source: Library of Congress.
American 19th-century sheet music. Copyright deposits, 1870-1885
Christmas Song by Southgate & Mora.
1. When gentle night bedews the earth,
And shepherds watch on Bethlem's plain,
An angel comes to tell the birth,
And glory of a Monarch's reign.
Say, why to them, an humble drew,
Of poor and ignorant. He comes?
Why does he not his flight pursue,
To tell his tale in royal homes?
2. "To you," he says, "who, patient, watch
The lowly off-spring of the fold,
Whose cease-less cares thro' noon-day reach,
And midnight vigils duly hold;
To you, the humblest of the race,--
To you I tell a Saviour's birth,
Because He comes Whose matchless grace
Can reach the lowest of the earth.
3. "To show, that kings and chiefs must bow
With meanest manhood, at that throne
Whose sway supreme both high and low,
In common loyalty, must own.
To you a Saviour born, to all
A Saviour equally must prove;
For, gifs that to the lowest fall,
Best show a universal love."
4. Fit prelude this to higher strain;
The Host of heaven joins the lay.
He who o'er shepherds owns His reign
Is meet to hold a boundless sway.
Then, "Peace on earth," the heralds sing,
"Good-will to men," breaks forth the song;
He comes Who does salvation bring
To all earth's woe and all men's wrong.