O Shepherds Sing Together
Words: Italian carol Cantiam tutti from “Laude Spirituali,” 1674, translated by K. W. Simpson
Music from the “Laude Spirituali,” 1674
Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #136, pp. 16-17.
O Shepherds sing together;
Sing! O beloved brothers;
Bring now your garlands hither;
For One above all others
Wreathe ye your flow'rets quickly, ere they wither.
“A little Child, He liveth!”
(Hark all the angels singing!)
“God a new Adam giveth!”
Glad are the tidings ringing:
“Born as a child – The soul of man He saveth!”
O shepherds, rude, unlearnèd,
Raise all your rustic voices!
Tell how your hearts have burnèd –
Sing how your heart rejoices –
Sing of the King, for whom your heart has yearnèd!
So fair His face, my brothers,
Stars of the skies are darkened!
Run ye, and tell all others,
Till all the world hath harkened –
Till all the world the King of Kings discovers.
His lips are strewn with roses;
(Graces abound as flowers) –
Sweet violets and posies
As are in princes' bowers!
Such is the beauty all His heart encloses).
If we, in joy abiding,
Sing – all Thy wonders knowing –
Jewels of earth deriding,
Poor, by Thy virtue showing!)
What of the gems Thy quiet heart is hiding?
A joy, forever living,
Mary the maiden knoweth!
Flow'rs of thy loving weaving
Blithesome the manger showeth!
Sing to the Babe, whose love hath healed our grieving!
Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #136, pp. 16-17.