From heaven high I come to you,
I bring a story good and new:
Of goodly news so much I bring,
Of it I must both speak and sing.
To you a child is come this morn,
A child of chosen maiden born,
A little babe so sweet and mild
Your joy and bliss shall be that child.
'Tis the Lord Christ, our very God.
He will you ease of all your load;
He'll be himself your Saviour sure
And from all sinning make you pure.
He brings you all the news so glad
Which God the Father ready had--
That you shall in his heavenly house
Live now and evermore with us.
Take heed then to the token sure--
The crib, the swaddling clothes so poor:
The infant you shall find laid there
Who all the world doth hold and bear.
Hence let us all be gladsome then,
And with the shepherd-folk go in
To see what God to us hath given
With his dear honoured Son from heaven.
Take note, my heart; see there! look low:
What lies then in the manger so?
Whose is the lovely little child?
It is the darling Jesus-child.
Hail, noble guest in humble guise,
Poor sinners who didst not despise,
And com'st to me in misery!
My thoughts must all be thanks to thee!
Ah Lord! the maker of us all!
How hast thou grown so poor and small
That there thou liest on withered grass,
The supper of the ox and ass!
Were the world wider many fold,
And decked with gems and cloth of gold,
'T were far too mean and narrow all
To be for thee a cradle small!
The silk and velvet that are thine
Are rough hay, linen not too fine;
Thereon thou, king so rich and great,
Liest as if in heavenly state.
And this hath therefore pleased thee,
To make this truth right plain to me,
That all the world's power, honour, wealth
Are nothing to thy heart or health.
Ah, little Christ! my heart's poor shed
Would make thee a soft, little bed:
Rest there as in a lowly shrine,
And make that heart for ever thine,
That so I always gladsome be,
Ready to dance, and sing to thee
The lullaby thou lovest best,
With sweetest hymn for dearest guest.
Glory to God on highest throne
Who gave to us his only Own!
For this the angel troop sings in
A New Year with gladsome din.