Like silver lamps in a distant shrine,
The stars are sparkling bright;
The bells of the city of God ring out,
For the Son of Mary is born tonight.
The gloom is past,
And the morn at last
Is coming with orient light.
No earthly songs are half so sweet
As those which are filling the skies,
And never a palace shone half so fair
As the manger-bed where our Savior lies;
No night in the year
Is half so dear
As this which has ended our sighs.
The stars of heaven still shine as at first
They gleamed on this wonderful night;
The bells of the city of God peal out,
And the angels' song still rings in the height,
And love still turns
Where the Godhead burns,
Hid in flesh from fleshly sight.
Faith sees no longer the stable floor,
The pavement of sapphire is there,
The clear light of heaven streams out to the world,
And the angels of God are crowding the air,
And heaven and earth,
Through the spotless birth,
Are at peace on this night so fair.
Most British hymn writers in the nineteenth century were clergymen, but William C. Dix (b. Bristol, England, 1837; d. Cheddar, Somerset, England, 1898) was a notable exception. Trained in the business world, he became the manager of a marine insurance company in Glasgow, Scotland. Dix published various volumes of his hymns, such as Hymns of Love and Joy (1861) and Altar Songs: Verses on the Holy Eucharist (1867). A number of his texts were first published in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861).
Bert Polman… Go to person page >