The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

While Certain Herdmen

Bergamasca, or Lerullelleru

For Christmas

Words: George Radcliffe Woodward

Music: Setting by Charles Wood

Source: Charles Wood and George Ratcliffe Woodward, eds.,  An Italian Carol Book Being a Selection of Laude Spirituali of the XVIth and XVIIth Centuries (London: The Faith Press, 1920), Carol #3, p. 3.

1. While certain herdmen to ewe and lamb attended
   (Mid-winter midnight upon the wold had found 'em),
Lo an Angel, that Bird of God,1 descended
   Then shone the glory of the Lord around 'em.

2. What said the seraph? 'Let nothing, sirs, appal you':
   For lo I bring you, adown from bow'rs eternal,
News! Good news f the joy that shall befal you,
   You and all people, mickle joy supernal.'

3. 'For unto you, and at this the time appointed,
   Yond in the city of David (be it spoken),
Born is Jesus, the Saviour, the Anointed:
   Lord God is he: and this shall be the token.'

4. 'Him shall ye see there as Babe, and by his mother
   Lapt in fair linen, within a manger lying.'
By and by there appearèd many other
   Glee-men from heaven, praising God and crying,

5. 'Glory to God in the highest!' And they caroll'd,
   'Peace and Good-will unto men on earth be granted!'
Thus glad angels, in alb and stole apparell'
   While In Natali Domini they chanted.

Footnote from GRW:

1. "Dante's simple and exquisite synonym for Angel, Uccello di Dio." John Ruskin. [Ed. The text was somewhat degraded, and this may have been "Uccella di Dio."]

Sheet music setting by Charles Wood from Charles Wood and George Ratcliffe Woodward, eds.,  An Italian Carol Book Being a Selection of Laude Spirituali of the XVIth and XVIIth Centuries (London: The Faith Press, 1920), Carol #3, p. 3.

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