The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When The Herds Were Watching

Author: William Canton (1845-1926)

Source: William Canton, In Memory of W. V. (London: J. M. Dent & Co., 1901), p. 168.

When the herds were watching
In the midnight chill,
Came a spotless lambkin
From the heavenly hill.

Snow was on the mountains
And the wind was cold,
When from God's own garden
Dropped a rose of gold.

When 'twas bitter winter,
Homeless and forlorn
In a star-lit stable
Christ the Babe was born.

Welcome, heavenly lambkin;
Welcome, golden rose;
Alleluia, baby
In the swaddling clothes!


W. V. was Winifred Vida Canton (1891-1901) who died suddenly at the age of ten from peritonitis.

... for us when she died
all the clocks of the world seemed to stop,
and all the wheels of life to fall still.

In Memory of W. V., p. 16.

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