1 Whilst tending on their fleecy care,
Judean shepherd's watch'd by night;
Celestial music fill'd the air,
And all the welkin flam'd with light.
2 That mighty God, that King of Kings,
Whom heav'n and all its hosts obey;
Arch-angels, veiling with their wings
Their faces, whilst they homage pay.
3 That God, who laid his glories by,
Assum'd an Infant's helpless form;
And in a stable deign'd to lie,
Where beasts seek shelter from the storm.
4 For man transgress'd, and tempted fell;
Though warn'd to shun the paths he trod:
And justice doom'd the race to hell,
That dar'd the vengeance of their God:
5 But mercy at the throne above,
Still pleaded for the rebel slave;
And, on the wings of pitying love,
Came God, to succour and to save.
5 Amazement seiz'd the hosts above,
To see the ills their Maker bore:
And man, shall man behold such love,
And not in humble dust adore?
6 Let praise fro ev'ry tongue ascend,
Let gratitude each heart inspire;
The skies let Hallelujahs rend,
And loud Hosannas swell the lyre.
Source: A Selection of Psalms with occasional hymns (Charleston hymnal) #H.V