Ye nations all, on you I call,
Come hear this declaration,
And don't refuse this glorious news
Of Jesus and salvation.
To royal Jews came first the news
Of Christ the great Messiah,
As was foretold by prophets old,
To Abraham the promise came,
And to his sons forever,
A light to shine in Isaac's line,
By Scripture we discover,
Hail! promised morn, the Savior's born,
The glorious mediator,
God's blessed Word made flesh and blood
Assumed the human nature.
His parents poor in earthly store
To entertain the stranger,
They found no bed to lay his head,
But in the ox's manger;
No royal things, as used by kings,
Were seen by those around him,
But in the hay the stranger lay
With swaddling bands around him.
On the same night a glorious light
To shepherds there appeared;
Bright angels came in shining flame,
They saw and greatly feared;
The angels said, 'Be not afraid,
Although we much alarm you,
We do appear good news to bear,
As now we will inform you.
'The city's name is Bethlehem,
In which God hath appointed
This glorious morn a Savior's born
For him God hath anointed.
By this you'll know, if you will go
To see this little stranger,
His lovely charms in Mary's arms,
Both lying in a manger.'
When this was said, straightway was made
A glorious sound from heaven;
Each flaming tongue an anthem sung,
"To men a Saviour's given.
In Jesus' name, the glorious theme,
We elevate our voices,
At Jesus' birth be peace on earth,
Meanwhile all heaven rejoices.'
The Second Penquin Book of Christmas Carols, ed. Elizabeth Poston.
This jolly bustling tune, probably of folk origin, occurs only in The Southern Harmony, 4-shape-note song book compiled at Spartanburg, South Carolina, and printed at New Haven, Connecticut, 1835.
(Search Roud index at VWML)