Scripture Verse

There were…shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke 2:8


Richard W. Adams

Words: Will­iam C. Dix, A Vi­sion of All Saints (Lon­don: John Hod­ges, 1871) pag­es 123–24. Ar­ranged by Ri­chard W. Ad­ams, Ap­ril 2, 2019 (pub­lic do­main).

Music: Will­iam G. Coo­per, 1889 (🔊 pdf nwc).

William G. Cooper


There was silence in Bethlehem’s fields that night,
Where the shepherds were keeping their sheep;
And the stars calmly shone from their beautiful height,
While the flocks on the hills lay asleep;
Lo, the quiet that fell in that holy, mysterious hour
Spoke of promise fulfilled, and of hope now revived
That for years had been robbed of her power.

How dreary the ages of strife passed away,
Since this marvelous night was foretold;
How still the deep quiet that reigns ere the day,
And the midnight so lonely and cold.
Love descended to earth, where sheep on the hills lay asleep;
Then an angel spoke out of the wonderful birth—
That we no more need sorrow or weep.

Then suddenly came to the angel most bright
All the host of the heavenly choir,
And a glory broke forth far more dazzling to sight
Than the sun in its bright noonday fire;
Now the silence is o’er, the promise no longer deferred,
The angels sang out, and the shepherds looked up:
Good tidings from Heaven they heard.