The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Shepherds

Words: William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585-1649)

 

Source: A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885)

O than the fairest day, thrice fairer night!
    Night to blest days in which a sun doth rise
Of which that golden eye which clears the skies
Is but a sparkling ray, a shadow-light!
And blessed ye, in silly pastors' sight,
    Mild creatures, in whose warm crib now lies
That heaven-sent youngling, holy-maid-born wight,
    Midst, end, beginning of our prophecies!
Blest cottage that hath flowers in winter spread,
    Though withered - blessed grass that hath the grace
    To deck and be a carpet to that place!
Thus sang, unto the sounds of oaten reed,
    Before the Babe, the shepherds bowed on knees;
    And springs ran nectar, honey dropped from trees.

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