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When Christ was Born in Bethlehem

When Christ was born in Bethlehem, 'Twas night but seemed the noon of day

Author: St. Alfonso M. de Liguori; Translator: Henry W. Longfellow
Published in 7 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 When Christ was born in Bethlehem,
’Twas night, but seemed the noon of day;
The star whose light was pure and bright,
Was pure and bright,
Shone with unwavering rays;
But one bright star, one glorious star
Guided the eastern magi from afar.

2 Then peace was spread throughout the land,
The lion fed beside the lamb;
And with the kid, to pastures led,
To pastures led, the spotted leopard fed;
In peace, in peace, the calf, the bear,
And wolf and lamb reposed together there.

3 As shepherds watched their flocks by night,
An angel brighter than the sun
Appeared in air, and gently said,
And gently said, "Fear not, be not afraid.
Behold, behold, beneath your eyes
Earth has become a smiling paradise."

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #15322

Author: St. Alfonso M. de Liguori

Liguori, Alphonso Maria de, born at Marianella, near Naples, Sept. 27, 1696, became Bishop of St. Agatha of the Goths in 1762, and died Aug. 1, 1787. His hymns were gathered out of his works, translated by K. A. Coffin, and published as Hymns and Verses on Spiritual Subjects, &c, in 1863. (See Italian Hymnody, p. 1316, ii., 4). From this, "My Jesus! say what wretch has dare" ( Good Friday) is taken. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)… Go to person page >

Translator: Henry W. Longfellow

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth , D.C.L. was born at Portland, Maine, Feb. 27, 1807, and graduated at Bowdoin College, 1825. After residing in Europe for four years to qualify for the Chair of Modern Languages in that College, he entered upon the duties of the same. In 1835 he removed to Harvard, on his election as Professor of Modern Languages and Belles-Lettres. He retained that Professorship to 1854. His literary reputation is great, and his writings are numerous and well known. His poems, many of which are as household words in all English-speaking countries, display much learning and great poetic power. A few of these poems and portions of others have come into common use as hymns, but a hymn-writer in the strict sense of that term he… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When Christ was born in Bethlehem, 'Twas night but seemed the noon of day
Title: When Christ was Born in Bethlehem
Italian Title: Quanno nascette Ninno
Translator: Henry W. Longfellow
Author: St. Alfonso M. de Liguori
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



The Cyber Hymnal #15322
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)
The Cyber Hymnal #15323
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 2 of 2)

The Cyber Hymnal #15322


The Cyber Hymnal #15323

Include 5 pre-1979 instances
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