The Angel Chorus

On the wintry and lonely hillside

Author: J. B. Waterbury
Tune: [On the wintry and lonely hillside]
Published in 2 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 On the wintry and lonely hillside,
All in the dim starlight,
Shepherds over the flock were keeping
Watch at the dead of night;
When swift angels of light came down,
And earth with hosannas rang;
Harps of gold and cherubic voices
Loudly and cheerly sang
At Bethlehem:

Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill to men.

2 Earth was wrapped in a robe of winter:
Kindly the new-fall’n snow
Drew the veil of a virgin whiteness
Pure over guilt and woe.
Beasts of prey on the frozen mountain,
Flocks on the charmèd plain,
Nature all, in entrancèd rapture,
Listened to that sweet strain
From Bethlehem: [Refrain]

3 Proudly marching along the forum,
Priests with a pompous train,
Closed the gates of the Roman Janus
Under a Cæsar’s reign.
Everywhere, and in every nation,
War, with its carnage grim,
Shouts and groans, and the roar of battle,
Ceased for the angel’s hymn
At Bethlehem: [Refrain]

4 Lo! each oracle of the heathen
Soon disenchanted proves:
Through the gloom of the dark Dodona,
Dumb are the oaken groves;
Dumb the voice of Apollo’s priestess,
Delphi is left forlorn;
All the realms of the demons tremble,
Knowing their Conqu’ror born
At Bethlehem: [Refrain]

5 Wide and wider at every Christmas
Echoes the joyful sound;
From Judea the glad good tidings
Now run the wide world round.
Sing, then sing, for the listening angels,
Bending on eager wing,
Join us now in the royal chorus
They were the first to sing
At Bethlehem: [Refrain]

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #14121

Author: J. B. Waterbury

Waterbury, Jared Bell, D.D., was born in New York City, Aug. 11, 1799, and graduated at Yale College, 1822. He was for some time pastor of a Congregational church at Hudson, New York, and then of Bowdoin Street Congregational church, Boston. He died at Brooklyn, Dec. 31, 1876. He published Advice to a Young Christian; The Officer on Duty, and other works. To the Rev. J. Leavitt's Christian Lyre, vol. i., 1830, he contributed the following hymns, each of which was headed, "Written for the Lyre," and signed "J. B. W.":— 1. My Jesus, Thou hast taught. The Love of Jesus. 2. Met, O God, to ask Thy presence. Repentance. 3. 0 fly, mourning sinner, saith Jesus to me. Promise of Pardon. 4. See Sodom wrapt in fire. Warning.… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: On the wintry and lonely hillside
Title: The Angel Chorus
Author: J. B. Waterbury
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Glory to God in the highest
Copyright: Public Domain


The Cyber Hymnal #14121
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #14121

Include 1 pre-1979 instance
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