Scripture Verse

Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2


Horatius Bonar (1808–1889)

Words: Ho­ra­ti­us Bo­nar, Hymns of the Na­ti­vi­ty, and Oth­er Piec­es (Lon­don: James Nis­bet, 1879), pag­es 1–4.

Music: Da­na An­dre­as P. Berg­green, 1849 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

Andreas P. Berggreen (1801–1880)


Night of won­der, night of glo­ry,
Such as time has ne­ver seen!
Theme of old pro­phet­ic sto­ry,
Night all so­lemn and serene:
Sweetest si­lence, soft­est blue
That earth’s dark­ness ev­er knew!

Night of beau­ty, hour of glad­ness,
Of all nights the first and best;
Not a cloud to speak of sad­ness,
Not a star but sings of rest;
Holy mid­night, show­er­ing peace,
Never shall thy ra­di­ance cease.

Happy ci­ty, dear­est, fair­est,
Lonely, tran­quil, Beth­le­hem!
Least and low­li­est, rich­est, rar­est,
David’s ci­ty, Ju­dah’s gem;
Out of thee there comes the light
That dis­pel­leth all our night.

In thee Heav’n and earth are meet­ing;
Lo, there comes the an­gel throng;
We give back the heav’n­ly greet­ing,
Joining in the ho­ly song—
Song of fes­tiv­al and mirth,
Song of morn­ing to the earth.

Now to thee thy king des­cend­eth,
Laid up­on a wo­man’s knee;
To thy gates His steps He bend­eth,
To the man­ger com­eth He;
David’s Lord and Da­vid’s Son,
This His cra­dle and His throne.

All un­con­scious of the trea­sure
That with­in thy walls there lies,
Is it slum­ber, is it plea­sure
That is seal­ing up thine eyes?
Canst thou not the gran­deur see
Of that veil­èd ma­jes­ty?

All un­wit­ting of the won­der
Wrought with­in thy gates to­night,
Art thou blind to Him who yon­der
Sleeps un­hon­ored—Prince of Light?
Thou thy­self the cra­dle bed,
For the King of Glo­ry spread!

He, the low­li­est of the low­ly,
To our taint­ed world has come;
He, the ho­li­est of the ho­ly,
Cannot find a hu­man home.
All for us He has been born,
All for us He bears the scorn.

Babe of weak­ness, Child of gran­deur,
At Thy sto­ny crib we bow;
Not a trace of heav’n­ly splen­dor,
Yet the King of an­gels Thou!
Soon by earth to be adored,
As cre­ation’s heir and Lord.

Light of life, Thou lie­st yon­der,
Mystery of migh­ty love;
Naught from Thee our souls shall sun­der,
Naught from us shall Thee re­move.
Take these hearts, and let them be
Throne and cra­dle both for Thee!

Bread of God, though yet un­brok­en,
Still e’en now the liv­ing Bread;
In that man­ger, lo, the to­ken
Of the ta­ble to be spread
For us in the up­per room,
When the longed for night is come.

Rose of Sha­ron, spring­ing sweet­ly
In this sac­red so­li­tude,
Every gra­cious leaf­let fit­ly
Folded in this ten­der bud;
All the beau­ty yet con­cealed,
All the frag­rance un­rev­ealed.

O’er Thy cra­dle we are bend­ing,
Singing low our song of love,
Soon to sing the song un­end­ing
In the Beth­le­hem above;
Through the ag­es gaz­ing on,
Not the cra­dle, but the throne.