The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Peaceful Were The Plains That Night

"Night and Morning"

For Epiphany

Words: William Chatterton Dix (1837-1865)

Music by Peter Franck, A. D. 1658, Arranged by T. Worsley Slaniforth.
Meter: 76 76 76 76

Source: W. Chatterton Dix, ed., Christmas Carols & Christmas Customs (No publisher, location or date; ca. 1870), #11, p. 3.

1. Peaceful were the plains that night,
    Where the sheep lay sleeping ;
Stars shine out like flowers of light,
    In the Angels’ keeping :
Things seemed as they ever were,
    Since the fathers slumbered—
Suddenly the cohort fair,
    Multitude unnumbered.

2. What the tidings that they brought
    To the royal nation ?
Wonder which the Lord had wrought
    Through the Incarnation :
This they told, that God was born
    Of the Mother-maiden :
Therefore leap the sad this morn,
    Rest the heavy-laden.

3. Clouds and darkness hie away,
    Light o'er earth is breaking,
Since the Old Law’s sunset-ray
    Died last night, forsaking
Temple, sacrifice, and rite
    Of the ancient letter ;
Old things past, the Lord of Might
    Brings us new and better.

4. Yesterday for thee, poor world,
    But to-day for Jesus ;
Pride and scorning down are hurled,
    ’Tis a Babe Who frees us.
Dreary years of waiting past,
    Now is come Salvation ;
Peace, goodwill, and, wrought at last,
    Reconciliation.

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