The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

I Sing The Birth, Was Borne To Night

For Christmas Eve

Words: Ben Jonson, Underwoods (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1905), p. 6.

A Hymne On the Nativitie of my Saviour.

1. I sing the birth, was borne to night,
The Author both of Life, and light;
The Angels so did sound it.
And like the ravish'd Sheep'erds said,
Who saw the light, and were afraid,
Yet search'de, and true they found it.

2. The Sonne of God, th' Eternall King,
That did us all salvation bring,
And freed the soule from danger;
Hee whom the whole world could not take,
The Word, which heaven, and earth did make;
Was now laid in a Manger.

3. The Fathers wisedome will'd it so,
The Sonnes obedience know no No,
Both wills were in one stature;
and as that wisedome had decreed,
The Word was now made Flesh indeed,
And took on him our Nature.

4. What comfort by him doe wee winne?
Who made himself the price of sinne,
To make us heirs of glory?
To see this Babe, all innocense;
A Martyr borne in our defence;
Can man forget this storie?


Another version of this poem with updated spelling is reproduced in  William Gifford, ed., The Works of Ben Jonson With A Biographical Memoir. A New Edition (London: Edward Moxon, 1838, 1843), p. 688: I Sing The Birth Was Born To-Night

This poem has been set to music. See:

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