Shepherds, Lead On To Bethlehem
Words: “Pathans vite de Besançon,” Besançon Noël
Translation by Rev. J. O'Connor
Music: Besançon Noël
Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #64, pp. 14-15.
1. Shepherds, lead on
You know which is the byway,
If you keep up a roundelay,–
Others will hear and come our way
And worship the Messiah, –
Lying forlorn in mean array,
An outcast on the highway.
2. He is become as one
For God's heavenly Table
After our ruin 'gan discuss
How to indemnify our loss,
And choose a desolate stable
Poverty, toil and bitter cross
Our strivings to enable.
3. When our first
parents felt on fruit
At once God became sorry.
Adam stood out asham'd and mute,
Then tried the boot on tother foot
And told Eve she should worry
' Adam is one of us', said God,
And laughed, hiding their flurry.
4. Adam and sons grow dubious
Of Godhead overhuman:
God smiling still but serious,
Lessons the Jews till they produce
One heavenly Woman.
Then she makes Him be one of us
True Godhead in true Men.
Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #64, pp. 14-15.