While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

open hymnal in the sunshine

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 mind),
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind.

“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 a sign.

“The heavenly babe you there shall find
To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swathing-bands,
And in a manger laid.”

Thus spoke the seraph, and forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels, praising God on high,
And thus addressed their 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.”

Written by Nahum Tate

Copied from my grandmother’s hymnal, Hymn Book, Methodist Episcopal Church, South: Nashville, TN, 1901, Hymn #61.

Note: The hymns in this hymnal are not titled. So when I do not know the hymn, I make up a title. Such is the case with this one.

Photo taken in Milton, FL, 2018

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