The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A Carol

Author: William Canton (1845-1926)

Source: William Canton, W. V. Her Book and Various Verses (New York: Stone & Kimball, 1897), pp. 136-7.

This gospel sang the angels bright:
Lord Jhesu shall be born this night;
Born not in house nor yet in hall,
Wrapped not in purple nor in pall,
Rocked not in silver, neither gold;
This word the angels sang of old;
Nor christened with white wine nor red;
This word of old the angels said
Of Him which holdeth in His hand
The strong sea and green land.

This thrice and four times happy night—
These tidings sang the angels bright—
Forlorn, betwixen ear and horn,
A babe shall Jhesu Lord be born,
A weeping babe in all the cold;—
This word the angels sang of old—
And wisps of hay shall be his bed;
This word of old the angels said
Of Him which keepeth in His hand
The strong sea and green land.

O babe and Lord, Thou Jhesu bright,—
Let all and some now sing this night—
Betwixt our sorrow and our sin,
Be thou new-born our hearts within;
New-born, dear babe and little King,
So letten some and all men sing—
To wipe for us our tears away!
This night so letten all men say
Of Him which spake, and lo! they be—
The green land and strong sea.

Note:

Reference to

Born not in house nor yet in hall,
Wrapped not in purple nor in pall,

is reminiscent of the carol, The Cherry Tree Carol.

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