Noel

 

(Translation from the French of Th. Gautier)

The sky was dark, the earth was white,
And gaily rang the bells;
Jesus was born! The candle-light
Shone in His clustering curls.

No curtains hung around His bed
To keep the cold away,
Only the twinkling stars o’erhead
To be His roof till day.

He trembled on His bed of hay –
Jesus, the Little Child!
But warmly on Him where He lay
The ox was breathing mild!

The snow lay thick at Jesu’s birth,
But in a frosty sky
‘Goodwill to men! Peace on the earth!’
The angels sang on high.

1924 (set to music)