Glory to God in the highest,
“Peace unto man, and good-will;”
It broke when the dawning was nighest
On the silence of pasture and hill.
When darkness was deepest in shadow,
There burst forth a beautiful light
On sleep lying down in the meadow,
And shepherds that watch'd them by night.
On heights by the Roman enslavèd,
On David's own Bethlehem town;
Yet here was a “greater than David,”
But no man awoke, or look'd down.
Great ones had throng'd to the city,
Had enter'd and fasten'd the door;
No room for the Virgin, no pity,
For her, or the Child that she bore.
Their children lay shielded from danger,
Close curtain'd, and cradled with care;
“This Babe ye shall find in a manger,”
And none but the oxen were there.
Yet this was the promise of ages,
The Wonderful, Counsellor, Son,
Whose name was on prophecy's pages,
By whom our salvation is won.
Then hail we the Child in the manger,
Creator, and Saviour, and King;
To Him shall the sons of the stranger
Their rarest and costliest bring.
And never, while Christians are living,
The song of our Christmas shall cease;
To God shall be praise and thanksgiving,
To man shall be pardon and peace.
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