The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Shepherds Went Their Hasty Way

For Christmas

Words: A cento from S. T. Coleridge.

Melody: An old Alsatian Carol.

Compare: The Shepherds Went Their Hasty Way
A Christmas Carol - Coleridge from Bramley and Stainer

Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #157, pp. 36-37.

1. The shepherds went their hasty way,
And found the lowly stable-shed
Where the Virgin Mother lay:
Now they check'd their eager tread,
For to the Babe, that to her clung,
A mother's song the Virgin sung.

2. They told her how a glorious light, 
Far streaming from a heav'nly throng, 
Round them shone suspending night! 
While more sweet than mother's song 
Blest angels hailed the Saviour's birth; 
Glory to God, and peace on earth.

3. She listened to the tale divine,
And closer still the Babe she prest; 
While she cried, the Babe is mine,
Mother-love o'erflowed her breast,
Joy rose with her like summer's morn:
Peace, peace on earth; its Prince Is born.

4. Then (cried she) is my soul elate,
That strife should vanish, battle cease; 
Poor am I, of low estate,
Mother of the Prince of Peace.
Joy rises in me like a summer's morn; 
Peace, peace on earth; its Prince is born.

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #157, pp. 36-37.

157a-Shepherds_Went.jpg (92850 bytes) 157b-Shepherds_Went.jpg (50648 bytes)

Sheet Music from Richard R. Terry, Old Christmas Carols. Part One. (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne Ltd., n.d., ca. 1923), Carol #15, p. 19.

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