The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Nicholas The Shepherd

For Christmas

Words: Micoulau noste pastre

English Translation by K. W. Simpson

Music: A Provençal Noël.

Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #88, pp. 22-23.

1. Old Nicholas our shepherd
    (A crazed and simple wight)
Stands gazing at the heavens,
    As he could read them right.
“Thy voice is hoarse and frail,
            Nicholas
For the wind blows cold this night.”

2. 'I saw a cloud of Angels
    (Like lovely birds they shone!)
And clear I heard them telliing:
    'A gentle Child is born!'
'Indeed then art thou ill
            Nicholas!
Thou are crazéd and forlorn!'

3. 'They said: 'Our Lord is sending
    His dear and only Son,
From fear and death delivering,
    He loveth every one!”
'Methinks thou speakest true
            Nicholas!
Rise, and lead us! Lead us on!'

4. O hasten Shepherds, hasten!
    (If wise and kind ye be),
To render loving homage
    To Him who loveth thee!
O leave your quiet lambs
            Nicholas!
Down the hillside run with me!

5. Tonight the clouds are lowering,
    The moon is hid away,
But bravely shines the cresset
    That shows us if we stray:
If guideth us to Him,
            Nicholas!
Naught can harm us in the way!

Footnote from Rev. Terry:

Choirs whose “basses” are of baritone range should not attempt the low D's on the word “Nicholas.”

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #88, pp. 22-23.

088a-Nicholas_Shepherd.jpg (142452 bytes) 088b-Nicholas_Shepherd.jpg (92120 bytes)

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