179. Angel Hosts in Bright Array

1. Angel hosts in bright array—
Stars their night-watch keeping—
Earthward wend their silent way,
While the world lies sleeping.
Through the wintry clouds they glide,
On through portal hoary,
Where, the ox and ass beside,
Lies the Babe of Glory.

Ring the bells, and sound the horn!
Shout with exultation!
Christ the Lord today is born
For the world’s salvation!

2. All unseen by mortal eye,
Reverent and lowly;
Prostrate there, they laud on high
Him, the Infant holy.
From their lips celestial rise
Sounds, with joy o’erflowing,
Strains upborne beyond the skies,
Hymns with rapture glowing. [Refrain]

3. Raphäel, archangel bright!
On thine errand wending,
Forth again into the night
Mount, the clouds ascending!
Take of that, thy glittering train,
Hosts of light, dear angel!
Then descend where Bethlehem’s plain
Waits thy longed evangel! [Refrain]

4. Hark the news the angel tells:
Lo! An infant stranger,
God’s dear Son among you dwells,
Born in Bethlehem’s manger!
Bursts a chorus from the sky,
Loud from Heaven’s portal:
Glory be to God on high,
Peace, goodwill to mortal! [Refrain]

5. Angel spirits earthward led,
With a hope endearing,
First to worship, first to spread
News of Christ’s appearing!
Trace we out your footfalls light,
Praise we Christ in glory,
Then waft on the tidings bright
Of the Gospel’s story! [Refrain]

Text Information
First Line: Angel hosts in bright array
Title: Angel Hosts in Bright Array
Author: George Grantham (1894)
Refrain First Line: Ring the bells, and sound the horn!
Meter: 87.87 D refrain
Language: English
Source: Carols for Use in Church, by Richard R. Chope (London: William Clowes & Sons, 1894), number 65
Copyright: Public Domain
Tune Information
Composer: Herbert Stephen Irons
Meter: 87.87 D refrain
Incipit: 54333 21712 34332
Key: G Major
Copyright: Public Domain

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