From 1684

One of the Wexford carols.

On Christmas night all Christians sing
To hear the news the angels bring.
News of great joy, cause of great mirth
News of our King, his birth.

The King of Kings of earth and heaven
The King of angels and of men:
Angels and men with joy may sing
To see their newborn King.

Angels with joy sing in the air
To him who can their ruins repair;
And prisoners in the limbs rejoice
To hear the echoes of their voice.

And how can men on earth be sad
Since our Redeemer has made us glad?
From sin and hell to set us free
And buy our Liberty.

Then sin, depart; behold, here’s grace;
And death: here’s life come in thy place.
Hell, now thou mayst thy terror see,
Thy power great must conquer’d be.

And for thy darkness we have light
Which makes the angels sing this night:
Glory to God and peace to men
For ever more. Amen.

~ Bishop Luke Waddinge, first published in A Smale Garland of Pious and Godly Songs (Gant, 1684)


About middlingpoet

From the Gawain poet to Rainer Maria Rilke: I love traditional poetry.
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