While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks



  1. 1. While shepherds watch’d their flocks by night,

    All seated on the ground,

    The angel of the Lord came down,

    And glory shone around.

    “Fear not,” said he, for mighty dread

    Had seized their troubled mind;

    “Glad tidings of great joy I bring

    To you and all mankind.”

  2. 2. “To you, in David’s town this day,

    Is born of David’s line

    The Savior who is Christ the Lord,

    And this shall be the sign:

    The heav’nly Babe you there shall find

    To human view displayed,

    All meanly wrapped in swathing bands,

    And in a manger laid.”

  3. 3. Thus spake the seraph, and forthwith

    Appeared a shining throng

    Of angels praising God, who thus

    Addressed their joyful song:

    “All glory be to God on high

    And on the earth be peace.

    Goodwill henceforth from heav’n to men

    Begin and never cease.”

Text: Nahum Tate, 1652–1715; based on Luke 2:8–14

Music: Yorkshire carol, ca. 1800