A shepherd band their flocks are keeping,
And gentle lambs are sweetly sleeping;
When suddenly they all behold
An angel in bright robes, with harp of gold.
Glad tidings of great joy he bringeth,
The azure vault with anthems ringeth;
Immanuel awakes the song,
And countless hosts the glorious theme prolong.
“To you, this day, is born a Savior,
Your Prophet, Priest and King forever;
All glory be to God,” they cry;
“All glory be to God,” let earth reply.
“On earth be peace with mercy blending,
Goodwill to men, and love unending”;
Thus sweetly sing the angel throng,
And all the heav’nly host rehearse the song.
Through field and wood the song resoundeth,
O’er hill and vale the chorus boundeth;
Exultingly the echoes roll,
And hymns of triumph spread from pole to pole.
The shepherds view the host returning,
Their hearts with holy ardor burning;
To Bethlehem they wend their way,
Repeating with glad tongues th’angelic lay.
In haste they seek the heav’nly Stranger;
They find the Babe laid in a manger;
With wonder and with awe they fall,
And joyfully adore Him, Lord of all.
Now every voice with rapture swelleth,
For Christ the Lord with mortals dwelleth;
Let men and angels Him adore,
And shout their loud hosannas evermore.