While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

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Melody - "Bethlehem", Gottfried Wilhem Fink, 1842
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Nahum Tate, 1700

While shepherds watched 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 minds;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
To you and all mankind.
2. To you in David's town this day,
Is born of David's line,
The Saviour, who is Christ, the Lord,
And this shall be the sign:
The heavenly Babe you there shall find
To human view displayed.
All meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
And in a manger laid.
3. Thus spake the seraph - and forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels, praising God, and thus
Addressed their joyful song:
All glory be to God on high,
And to the earth be peace;
Good-will henceforth from Heaven to men
Begin, and never cease!


In the Episcopal Hymnal of 1916, each verse is split into two, for a total of six.

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