The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Fairest of Morning Lights, Appear

For Christmas Day

Words:  Rev. Thomas Pestell, 1584? - 1659

Music: Music: "This Endris Nyght," 15th Century
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 197-8.

1. Fairest of morning lights, appear,
    Thou blest and gaudy day,
On which was born our Saviour dear;
    Arise and come away.

2. This day prevents His day of doom;
    His mercy now is nigh;
The mighty God of Love is come,
    The dayspring from on high.

3. Behold, the great Creator makes
    Himself an house of clay,
A robe of virgin-flesh He takes
    Which He will wear for aye.

4. Hark, hark, the wise Eternal Word
    Like a weak infant cries;
In form of servant is the Lord,
    And God in cradle lies.

5. This wonder struck the world amazed,
    It shook the starry frame;
Squadrons of spirits stood and gazed,
    Then down in troops they came.

6. Glad shepherds ran to view this sight;
    A quire of angels sings;
And eastern sages with delight
    Adore this King of kings.

Sheet Music to "This Endris Night" from Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer, The English Carol Book, Second Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1913), Carol #51
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF


Excerpted from stanzas 1, 3-8 of Pestell's Psalm for Christmas Day Morning, appearing first in his Sermons and Devotions Old and New (1659). See also Behold The Great Creator Makes and O Fairest Morning Light, Appear.

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