Description: Transcribed from the Novello edition, Musical Times no.622
Original text and translations
1 There was silence in Bethlehem's fields that night,
Where the shepherds their flocks were keeping;
The stars calmly shone from their beautiful height,
The sheep on the hills lay asleeping.
And the quiet that fell on that wondrous hour,
From all others was strangely parted.
And Hope that for years had been robb'd of her power,
Was the Hope of the weary-hearted.
2 How dreary the ages of strife pass'd away,
Since the word of His coming was spoken!
Still, still the deep darkness that reigns ere the day,
And quietness almost unbroken,
Thro' darkness and silence, Peace hasted to earth,
Where sheep on the hills lay asleeping,
And the angels declared the wonderful birth,
The end of her sorrow and weeping.
3 Then suddenly came to this angel most bright,
A Host of the Heavenly chorus,
And a glory brake forth more dazzling to sight
Than the sun which at noonday burns o'er us;
The silence was over the Hope long deferr'd,
The waiting for Christ and His glory,
When the angels sang out and the listeners heard
The tidings they brought in their story.