121. O Little Town of Bethlehem

1 O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by;
yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.

2 For Christ is born of Mary;
and, gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
proclaim the holy birth,
and praises sing to God the King,
and peace to all on earth.

3 How silently, how silently,
the wondrous Gift is given
as love imparts to human hearts
the blessings of God's heaven!
No ear may hear his coming
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him,
still the dear Christ enters in.

4 O holy child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray;
cast out our sin and enter in;
be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Emmanuel.

Text Information
First Line: O little town of Bethlehem
Title: O Little Town of Bethlehem
Author: Phillips Brooks (1831-1893)
Publication Date: 1998
Meter: 86 86 76 86
Topic: Christmas; Epiphany
Tune Information
Collector and Harmonizer: Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
Meter: 86 86 76 86
Key: F Major
Source: English trad.
Copyright: Harm. © Oxford University Press
Notes: Alt. rhythm and higher key 427

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