299. While shepherds watched their flocks by night

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
you and all humankind.

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

4 'the heavenly babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
all meanly wrapped in swaddling clothes
and in a manger laid.'

5 Thus spoke 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 world be peace;
good will henceforth from heaven to earth
begin and never cease.'

Text Information
First Line: While shepherds watched their flocks by night
Author: Nahum Tate, 1652-1715 (alt.)
Meter: 86.86
Language: English
Publication Date: 1999
Topic: Christmas; Christmas Eve; Jesus Christ: Incarnation
Tune Information
Meter: 86.86
Key: F Major
Source: Later form of melody from Thomas Este's 'Psalter', 1592

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