1 Calm on the listening ear of night
Come heaven's melodious strains,
Where wild Judea stretches far
Her silver-mantled plains.
Celestial choirs from courts above
Shed sacred glories there;
And angels, with their sparkling lyres,
Make music on the air.
2 The answering hills of Palestine
Send back the glad reply;
And greet, from all their holy heights,
The Dayspring from on high.
O'er the blue depths of Galilee
There comes a holier calm,
And Sharon waves, in solemn praise,
Her silent groves of palm.
3 "Glory to God!" the sounding skies
Loud with their anthems ring,
"Peace to the earth, good-will to men,
From heaven's eternal King!"
Light on thy hills, Jerusalem!
The Saviour now is born!
And bright on Bethlehem's joyous plains
Breaks the first Christmas morn.
Hymnal: according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, 1871
Edmund Hamilton Sears was born in Berkshire, Massachusetts, in 1810; graduated at Union College, Schenectady, in 1834, and at the Theological School of Harvard University, in 1837. He became pastor of the Unitarian Society in Wayland, Mass., in 1838; removed to Lancaster in 1840; but on account of ill health was obliged to retire from the active duties of the ministry in 1847; since then, residing in Wayland, he devoted himself to literature. He has published several works.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872… Go to person page >
John B. Dykes (PHH 147) composed ST. AGNES for [Jesus the Very Thought of Thee]. Dykes named the tune after a young Roman Christian woman who was martyred in A.D. 304 during the reign of Diocletian. St. Agnes was sentenced to death for refusing to marry a nobleman to whom she said, "I am already eng…
The tune NOEL (also used at 185) is also known as EARDISLEY or GERARD. Arthur Seymour Sullivan (b Lambeth, London. England. 1842; d. Westminster, London, 1900) adapted this traditional English melody (probably one of the variants of the folk song "Dives and Lazarus"), added phrases of his own to rec…