199. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

1 While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground,
an angel of the Lord came down,
and glory shone around.

2 "Fear not," said he (for mighty dread
had seized their troubled mind);
"glad tidings of great joy I bring
to you and human-kind.

3 "To you in David's town this day
is born of David's line
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,
and this shall be the sign:

4 "The heav'nly babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
all meanly wrapped in swathing bnads,
and in a manger laid."

5 Thus spake the seraph, and forthwith
appeared a shining throng
of angels praising God, who thus
addressed their joyful song:

6 "All glory be to God on high,
and to the earth be peace;
good will to all from highest heaven
begin and never cease."

Text Information
First Line: While shepherds watched their flocks by night
Title: While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
Author: Nahum Tate (1700)
Meter: CM
Language: English
Publication Date: 1985
Topic: Biblical Characters: David; Hymns with Descants
Tune Information
Composer (desc.): Alan Gray
Meter: CM
Key: F Major
Source: Este's Psalter (1592) (melody)
Copyright: Descant from A Book of Descants by Alan Gray (1923) published by Cambridge University Press and used by permission
Notes: Now Public Domain.

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