The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Hark! Hear You Not A Cheerful, Cheerful Noise

A Hymn for Christmas Day

Words: Adapted from a poem by William Austin (1587-1634), a barrister of Lincoln's Inn.

Music: William Knapp

Source: William Knapp, ed., Anthems for Christmas Day (London: Robert Brown, et al., 1744), pp. 18-19.

1. Hark! hear you not a cheerful, cheerful noise,
Which makes the Heaven ring with Joys.
See where light Stars bright Angels, fly,
A Thousand Heavenly Echoes cry.

2. So loud they sang, that down to Earth,
Innocent Children hear their Mirth;
And sing with them what none could say,
For joy their Prince was born that day;

3. Their Prince, their God, like one of those,
Is made a Child, and wrapt in Clothes.
All this in Time was fully done,
We have a Saviour, God, the Son.

Sheet Music: William Knapp, ed., Anthems for Christmas Day (London: Robert Brown, et al., 1744), pp. 18-19.

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This poem was written by William Austin and was published after his death in a collection created by his wife, Devotionis Augustinianae flamma (1635), which included three "Carrols for Christmas Day:"

William Austin, "Hark! Hark! Hear You Not," from Devotionis Augustinianae flamma, or, Certaine devout, godly, and learned meditations written, by the excellently-accomplisht gentleman, William Austin, of Lincolnes-Inne, Esquire. (London : Printed [by John Legat] for I[ohn] L[egat] and Ralph Mab, 1635), p. 53.

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Free sheet music is available for this piece for non-commercial use from Roding Music, both vocals and vocals with keyboard. The Christmas Carols page has links to this and other carols sung in the West Galley tradition.

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