The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

On This Blessed Eve We Sing

Words: Isa Craig  (1831-1903)

Norman Macleod, ed., Good Words for 1866, Volume 7, January 1, 1866. (London and New York: Alexander Strahan and Company, 1866), Isa Craig, "The Children's Carols," pp. 31-33.

On this blessed eve we sing
    Glad tidings ! Glad tidings !
To men of goodwill we bring
    Glad tidings ! Glad tidings !

Lo ! The Prince of Peace and light
    Lay in a manger :
Wouldst thou have Him here to-night,
    House the poor stranger.

We are children of the Lord,
    Loving each other ;
Be thou His, by love restored,
    Father or brother ;

Let us in, and let us bring
    Glad tidings! Glad tiding! --
In the dark we pass and sing
    Glad tidings! Glad tidings !

He who was the King of kings
    He and none other
Came not borne on angels' wings
    To His poor mother

For He came to weep and smile,
    Humble and lowly ;
Came to share all pain and toil,
    Making them holy.

So we come this night to sing
    Glad tidings ! Glad tidings !
And to all this house we bring
    Glad tidings ! Glad tidings !

On this blessed eve we sing
    Glad tidings ! Glad tidings !
Unto sinful men we bring
    Glad tidings ! Glad tidings !

Christ hath pour d His blood like wine
    For all the sinning
He who came this night divine,
    Our Salvation winning.

In our Father s house above
    All the lights are burning ;
He is waiting full of love
    For His sons returning.

Come away ; and let us bring
    Glad tidings! Glad tidings!
Awhile with us the angels sing
    Glad tidings ! Glad tidings !

He who took our mortal life,
    This night with crying ;
Victor in death's mortal strife,
    He holds the dying :

In His arms He holds them first,
    When they are failing !
When the moment comes at last,
    Hush'd he our wailing.

For to us on earth they cry,
    Glad tidings ! Glad tidings !
O grave, where is thy victory !
    Glad tidings ! Glad tidings !

Editor's Note:

This carol occurs in the short story by Isa Craig, "The Children's Choir," with the lyrics to the carol interspersed throughout.

The story began:

In the forest hamlet there lived a poet, and he laboured with his hands, singing as he laboured. He loved, as all poets must, the earth and the sky, with all their flowers and stars.

In his youth he had wandered in the woods, full of love and joy. His spirit had gone up with the lark till he felt breathless with gladness, as it with flight. He had flung himself on a bank beside a tuft of primroses, and kissed them as passionately as other youths kiss the maidens of their choice, and he had lifted up his sweetly-moving lips to heaven, when no one witnessed, as if he would kiss the face of the sky.

The mild old man still loved the flowers and the stars, but more than these he loved the children, and gathered them about his knees, and taught them. He taught them to sing sweet songs and merry glees, which some, who were counted wise, called foolish things. He taught them also to sing in church ; and the voice of one child was as the voice of an angel, as it rose above all others in "We praise Thee, God !"

Good Words for 1866, Vol. 7, is available at both Internet Archive and Google Books.

This poem was re-vamped not necessarily for the better as a carol, On This Blessed Eve We Sing.

Other works by Isa Craig-Knox on this site include:

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