The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Manger Throne

For Christmas Eve.

Words: William Chatterton Dix

Music: The Manger Throne, Charles Steggall, 1867 / 1871
/ Noteworthy Composer
Other music by George B. Lissant and Joseph Barnby

Source: William Chatterton Dix, Four Joyful Hymns for Christmas Tide (London: G. J. Palmer, circa 1865), #IV.  p. 4.

"Tomorrow ye shall have Help, saith the Lord God of Hosts."

1. Like silver lamps in a distant shrine,
    The stars are sparkling clear and bright ;
The bells of the City of God ring out,1
    For the Son of Mary was2 born to-night:
The gloom is past, and the morn at last
    Is coming with orient light!

2. Never fell melodies half so sweet3
    As those which are filling the skies ;
And never a palace shone half so fair,
    As the manger bed where our Saviour lies ;
No night in the year is half so dear
    As this, which has ended our sighs.

3. Now a new Power has come on the earth,
    A match for the armies of hell :
A Child is born who shall conquer the foe,
    And all the spirits of wickedness quell :
For Mary's Son is the Mighty One
    Whom the prophets of God foretell !

4. The stars of heaven still shine as at first
    They gleamed on this wonderful night;
The bells of the City of God peal out,
    And the Angelsí song still rings in the height;
And Love still turns where the Godhead burns.
    Veiled in the Flesh from fleshly sight.4

5. Faith sees no longer the stable floor,
    The pavement of sapphire is there ;
The clear light of heaven streams out to the world,
    And Angels of God are crowding the air;
And heaven and earth, through the spotless Birth,
    Are at peace on this night so fair!


1. Dix uses "peal out" in his circa 1870 Christmas Carols & Christmas Customs. Return

2. Bramley & Stainer have is. Return

3. Elsewhere seen as: No earthly songs are half so sweet. Return

4. Bramley & Stainer have Hid in flesh, as does Dix in Christmas Carols & Christmas Customs (ca. 1870). Return

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Sheet music by Charles Steggall from Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old, First Series (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., circa 1871), Carol #2.

Manger_Throne_2a.gif (428382 bytes) Manger_Throne_2b.gif (422973 bytes)

Sheet Music by Charles Steggall from Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol #354
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Like_Silver_Lamps_354.gif (466209 bytes)

Sheet Music by J. Barnby from Charles L. Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol #744

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6

Sheet Music by Mr. G. B. Lissant from Rev. Richard R. Chope, Carols For Use In Church (London: William Clowes & Sons, 1894), Carol #43
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Carol-043a.gif (270957 bytes) Carol-043b.gif (273990 bytes)

Chope notes that verses 2, 3, and 5 begin on the second chord, i.e., at the beginning of the bar. Mono-syllables in italics (in the original score, above) should be sung to two notes, and dissyllables to one note or two notes slurred.

Sheet Music by Charles Steggall from The Parish School Hymnal. Philadelphia: Board of Publication of the United Lutheran Church in America, 1926, #29

This arrangement differs from that found in Hutchins, above.


Also appeared in W. Chatterton Dix, ed., Christmas Carols & Christmas Customs (No publisher, location or date; ca. 1870).

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