The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Carol VI. The Angel's Message


Once Again The Festal Morning

For Christmas

Words: Anonymous.

Music: Haydn

Source: Christmas Carols, or Sacred Songs, Suited to the Festival of our Lord's Nativity (London: John William Parker, 1833), p. 38-41.



" Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."óLuke ii. 10, 11.

First Company.

Once again the festal morning,
Our salvation's pledge, is come : 
Hark ! the bells with timely warning,
Brethren, call us far from home; 
Far from home in thought to wander,
To Judaea's holy shore, 
Bethlehem's storied scene to ponder,
Bethlehem's cavern'd grot explore.

Second Company.

See, within that humble dwelling
Where a new-born babe is laid, 
Shepherd-swains their joy are telling,
O'er him bends a gentle maid. 
Leans she o'er that infant sleeping,
With a mother's bliss and pride; 
Cherub forms, their vigil keeping,
Wait meseems with awe beside.


He it is, the Lord's anointed
Man's transgression to redress: 
He it is, by God appointed
Man to rescue, and to bless : 
Born to be our Great Example,
Man to Eden's bliss to lead; 
Born the serpent's head to trample,
Born the woman's promis'd seed.


He it is, through far-off ages,
Whom successive visions trace, 
Sung by patriarchs, prophets, sages,
Of the Hebrews' chosen race : 
He to bless the favour'd nation,
Abraham's faithful sons, design'd ; 
He to bless the whole creation,
All the kindreds of mankind.


He it is, in Israel's story,
Heir of David's royal crown, 
Heir of more than David's glory,
To be born in David's town : 
Israel's Prince, whose generation 
In the days of old is lost; 
He who laid the world's foundation, 
Worshipp'd by Jehovah's host.


He it is, whose birth stupendous
Should Jehovah's signet show, 
When to counsel, rule, defend us,
He should visit earth below. 
Hark the Prophet! List, and hear him !
" Lo, a Virgin," he began, 
" Shall conceive a son, and bear him :
True Emmanuel, God with man !"


Brethren, in yon lowly dwelling,
Mark, that new-born babe is He ! 
Well may Bethlehem's swains be telling
Their delight that babe to see : 
Well that maid her infant sleeping
May survey with joy and pride : 
Cherub forms, their vigil keeping,
Well may wait with awe beside.


Promis'd offspring of the woman,
Abraham's seed, and David's heir, 
By conception superhuman,
Whom a Virgin pure should bear : 
He whom men should hail delighted,
He by angel tongues ador'd; 
See them all in him united,
Christ the Saviour, Christ the Lord !

Sheet Music from Source: Christmas Carols, or Sacred Songs, Suited to the Festival of our Lord's Nativity (London: John William Parker, 1833), p. 40-41.

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