1. What soul inspiring music
Thrills through the midnight air?
What sounds of heav’nly sweetness
Dispel all doubt and care?
Every star and constellation
Sheds a radiance doubly bright;
See the Pleiads and Orion
Glitter keenly in the height!
Sparkling fires, like twinkling blossoms
Stud night’s robe with light.
2. Strange forms float hovering o’er us,
New sounds fall on our ear;
God’s angel bids us welcome,
His voice says, Never fear!
Born to you in David’s city
Lies the Savior, all divine,
David’s Root and David’s offspring,
Promised Seed of David’s line;
He is swathed and in a manger;
Take this for a sign.
3. Straight, crowds of heavenly warriors,
Outshining every star,
Stand forth round that one herald
Proclaiming peace afar;
Choirs of angels and archangels,
Seraphim and cherubim,
Thrones and princedoms, dominations,
Powers and might which wax not dim;
Spirit-hosts in ranks celestial,
Raise one joyous hymn.
4. Speed, shepherds, leave your sheepfolds,
To Bethle’m haste away;
Fall on your knees before Him,
Salute Him while ye may:
Bring your offerings, bring your treasure,
Open wide each simple store;
Pipe and dance in rustic measure,
In His manger Him adore;
Every deed to give Him pleasure
Be yours evermore.
English clergyman, a high-church Anglican. Text editor of Christmas Carols New and Old, 1871 (John Stainer was the music editor), a seminal work in the second period of carol revival. The usual four-part setting of "The First Nowell" appeared in this book. Published a number of translations of hymns and carols from the Latin.… Go to person page >