When in silence and in shade
Earth, at midnight, had been laid,
Working out the Father’s plan,
In the Virgin’s womb made man,
God His earthly life began.
By each mouth His praise be show’d,
For the new gift now bestow’d;
From on high came down the dew,
From the earth the flow’ret grew,
Health in mortals to renew.
Very God as Man is born;
Swaddling clothes enwrap the morn;
Praise by angel tongues is pour’d;
Earth is ransom’d by the Lord;
Peace to sinners is restor’d.
Ammon’s King, in woe and grief,
Owns the dread of Sion’s chief;
Trembles haughty Babylon,
When they set the Royal Crown
On our truer Solomon.
There the Cross is rear’d on high,
And their God they crucify;
Conq’ring Life in death hath lain,
Death’s contriver falls again,
Death itself by death is slain.
After sunset in the grave
Comes our Sun again to save,
And He shows the glory, won
By the deeds His hand hath done,
To the Blest around the Throne.
Holy Father, now we crave,
Hear us and redeem and save;
Let the things we ask be done
Through Thy well-beloved Son,
With Thee and the Spirit One. Amen.