The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Psalm for Christmas Day Morning

For Christmas

Words: Rev. Thomas Pestell (circa 1584-1659), Vicar and later Curate of Packington, Leicestershire, and was also Chaplain to King Charles I.

Music: "This Endris Nyght," 15th Century
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
Alternate: Kilmarnock
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer
Meter: CM

1. Fairest of morning Lights appear,
    Thou blest and gaudy day,
On whom was born our Saviour dear,
    Make haste and come away.

2. See, See, our pensive breasts do pant,
    Like gasping Land we lie,
Thy holy Dews our souls do want.
    We faint, we pine, we die.

3. Let from the skies a joyfull Rain
    Like Mel or Manna fall.
Whose searching drops our sins may drain,
    And quench our sorrows all.

4. This day prevents his day of Doom,
    His mercy now is nigh.
The mighty God of love is come;
    The day-spring from on high.

5. Behold the great Creator makes
    Himself an house of clay.
A Robe of Virgin flesh he takes
    Which he will wear for ay.

6. Heark, heark, the wise Eternal Word,
    Like a weak Infant cries,
In form of servant is the Lord;
    And God in Cradle lies.

7. This wonder struck the world amaz'd;
    It shook the stary frame.
Squadrons of spirits stood and gaz'd.
    Then down in Troops they came.

8. Glad Shepherds ran to view this sight,
    A quire of Angels sings,
And Eastern Sages with delight
    Adore this King of Kings.

9.  Joyn then all hearts that are not stone,
    And all our voices prove
To celebrate this holy One,
    The God of Peace and Love.

Sheet Music to "This Endris Night" from Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer, The English Carol Book, Second Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1913), Carol #51
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Notes:

Two excerpts from this Psalm were reproduced widely: Behold The Great Creator Makes (The English Hymnal, #20) and occasionally as Fairest of Morning Lights, Appear. It was also the inspiration for O Fairest Morning Light, Appear. "Psalm for Christmas Day Morning" first appeared in Pestell's Sermons And Devotions Old And New (1659).

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