Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
Words: Godfrey Thring, Hymns and Sacred Lyrics (London: Henry S. King, 1874), pages 31–32.
If you know where to get a good photo of Thring (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels),
Let myriad chords this day be strung
Within the beating hearts of men,
Till peal on peal from every tongue,
Again re-echoing and again,
Shall far and near the news proclaim,
That Christ is born in Bethlehem.
No pomp of power, no pride of place,
No gorgeous banner was unfurled,
When He, the Lord of life and grace,
Descended on a hardened world;
And Satan stood with folded wings,
And, cowering, owned Him King of kings.
The heathen gods were silent then,
No voice was heard from wood or stone,
Their glory had departed—when
The Lord of Glory left His throne,
And in a lowly manger lay,
The Day-star of eternal day.
Dark superstition, scowling, fled;
A blight upon her parent stem
Had fallen, when in wonder led
The star stood over Bethlehem,
And holy angels, hovering there,
Sang praises in the midnight air.
Yes! angels sang their song of old,
Yet man, for whom He came, was dumb;
They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold,
And knew not that their Lord was come,
For them to live, for them to die,
A pledge to them of victory.
Long years have rolled since that bright day,
And through the world His love has rung,
But be not we as blind as they,
Or leave His praises all unsung:
The heav’ns proclaim that Christ is come,
Shall we on earth alone be dumb?
No! let each and every heart
Awake, and sing this joyous morn,
And with the angels bearing part,
Proclaim their great Redeemer born,
And strive a guiltless life to bring
As tribute to their heav’nly king.