Saturday, December 24, 2016

Whilst Shepherds Watch't / Nahum Tate

Whilst Shepherds Watch't

Whilst Shepherds watch'd their flocks by night,
    All seated on the ground,
The Angel of the Lord came down,
    And glory shone around.

Fear not, said he, for mighty dread
    Had seized their troubled mind,
Glad tidings of great joy I bring
    To you and all mankind.

To you in David's town this day
    Is born of David's line
A Saviour, which is Christ the Lord;
    And this shall be the sign.

The heavenly Babe you there shall find,
    To human view display'd,
All meanly wrapt in swaddling bands
    And in a manger laid.

Thus spake the Seraph, and forthwith
    Appeared a heavenly throng
Of Angels praising God, and thus
    Address'd their joyful song:

All glory be to God on high,
    And to the earth be peace,
Good-will henceforth from Heav'n to men
    Begin and never cease.

Nahum Tate (1652-1715)
from A Supplement to the New Version of Psalms, 1700

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Nahum Tate biography

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