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Judea's plains in silence sleep
Beneath the cloudless midnight sky;
And o'er their flocks the shepherds keep
Kind watch, to David's city nigh:
That royal city!--nobler Guest
Is she awhile to entertain,
Than proudest monarch, whose behest
It is o'er earthly realms to reign:
By Him salvation is to mortals given,
On earth is shed the peerless noon of Heaven.


For see, along the deep blue arch
A glory breaks--and now a throng,
From where the sparkling planets march,
Come trooping down with shout and song;
And o'er those pastures, bath'd in light,
The sacred legions stay their wing,
While on the wakeful ear of night,
Steals the rich hymn that Seraphs sing;
And sweetly thus the mellow accents ran,
"Glory to God, Good Will and Peace to Man!"