Monday, December 28, 2015

The Dayspring From On High (Day Four)

Calm on the listening ear of night
Come heaven's melodious strains,
Where wild Judea stretches far
Her silver-mantled plains.

Celestial choirs from courts above
Shed sacred glories there;
And angels, with their sparkling lyres,
Make music on the air.

The answering hills of Palestine
Send back the glad reply;
And greet, from all their holy heights,
The Dayspring from on high.

O'er the blue depths of Galilee
There comes a holier calm,
And Sharon waves, in solemn praise,
Her silent groves of palm.

"Glory to God!" the sounding skies
Loud with their anthems ring,
"Peace to the earth, good-will to all,
From heaven the news we bring!"

Light on thy hills, Jerusalem!
The Savior now is born!
And bright on Bethlehem's joyous plains
Breaks the first Christmas morn.

Edmund Hamilton Sears, 1834; alt.
Tune: ST. AGNES (C.M.)
John Bacchus Dykes, 1866

Though minister and poet Edmund Hamilton Sears was a Unitarian, he wrote at least two hymns for Christmas. His other one is far more well known, but this text was in more than 300 hymnals up until the middle of the twentieth century.

Sears was also the uncle of hymnwriter Eliza Scudder.

Six Years Ago: Peaceful the wondrous night

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