Music I love - but never strain Could kindle raptures so divine, So grief assuage, so conquer pain, And rouse this pensive heart of mine - As that we hear on Christmas morn, Upon the wintry breezes borne. Though Darkness still her empire keep, And hours must pass, ere morning break; From troubled dreams, or slumbers deep, That music kindly bids us wake: It calls us, with an angel's voice, To wake, and worship, and rejoice;
To greet with joy the glorious morn, Which angels welcomed long ago, When our redeeming Lord was born, To bring the light of Heaven below; The Powers of Darkness to dispel, And rescue Earth from Death and Hell.
While listening to that sacred strain, My raptured spirit soars on high; I seem to hear those songs again Resounding through the open sky, That kindled such divine delight, In those who watched their flocks by night.
With them, I celebrate His birth - Glory to God, in highest Heaven, Good-will to men, and peace on Earth, To us a Saviour-king is given; Our God is come to claim His own, And Satan's power is overthrown!
A sinless God, for sinful men, Descends to suffer and to bleed; Hell must renounce its empire then; The price is paid, the world is freed, And Satan's self must now confess, That Christ has earned a Right to bless:
Now holy Peace may smile from heaven, And heavenly Truth from earth shall spring: The captive's galling bonds are riven, For our Redeemer is our king; And He that gave his blood for men Will lead us home to God again.