1. No war nor battle’s sound
Was heard the world around;
No hostile chiefs to furious combat ran;
But peaceful was the night,
In which the Prince of light
His reign of peace upon the earth began.
2. The shepherds on the lawn,
Before the point of dawn,
In social circle sat; while all around,
The gentle, fleecy brood,
Or cropped the flowery food,
Or slept, or sported on the verdant ground,—
3. When, lo! with ravished ears,
Each swain delighted hears,
Sweet music, offspring of no mortal hand;
Answering the stringed noise,
With blissful rapture charmed the listening band.
4. They saw a glorious light
Burst on their wondering sight;
Harping in solemn choir, in robes arrayed
The helmed cherubim
And sworded seraphim
Are seen in glittering ranks, with wings displayed.
5. Sounds of so sweet a tone
Before were never known,
But when of old the sons of morning sung,
While God disposed in air,
Each constellation fair,
And the well-balanced world on hinges hung.
6. “Hail, hail, auspicious morn!
The Saviour Christ is born!”
Such was th’ immortal seraph’s song sublime;
“Glory to God in heaven!
To man sweet peace be given,
Sweet peace and friendship to the end of time.
Henry Ward Beecher, Plymouth Collection of Hymns and Tunes for the Use of Christian Congregations, (New York: A. S. Barnes & Company, 1859), 67.