Friday, June 13, 2014

"Christians, Awake; Salute the Happy Morn!"

     "The author of "Christians, Awake; Salute the Happy Morn! was John Byrom. Manchester's famous man of letters, who was born at Kersal in 1691. 
      Byrom had several children, but, like many another father, there was a favorite. This child was a little girl named Dolly. A few days previous to Christmas Mr. Byrom, after having a romp with the favorite, Dolly, promised to write here something nice for Christmas morning. On the morning of the great day, when she sat down to breakfast, she found on her plate an envelope, addressed to her in her father's handwriting. It was the first thing she opened, and, to her great delight, it proved to be a Christmas carol addressed to her, and to her alone." from How We Got Our Christmas Hymns, 1913

Christians, awake, salute the happy morn
Whereon the Savior of the world was born
Rise to adore the mystery of love
Which hosts of angels chanted from above
With them the joyful tidings first begun
Of God incarnate and the Virgin's Son

Then to the watchful shepherds it was told
Who heard the angelic herald's voice: "Behold,
I bring good tidings of a Savior's birth
To you and all the nations upon earth
This day hath God fulfilled His promised word;
This day is born a Savior, Christ the Lord."

He spake, and straightaway the celestial choir
In hymns of joy, unknown before, conspire
The praises of redeeming love they sang
And heaven's whole orb with alleluias rang
God's highest glory was their anthem still
Peace upon earth and unto men goodwill

To Bethlehem straight the shepherds ran
To see the wonder God had wrought for man
And found, with Joseph and the blessed Maid
Her Son, the Savior, in a manger laid
Amazed, the wondrous story they proclaim
The earliest heralds of the Savior's name

Let us, like these good shepherds, them employ
Our grateful voices to proclaim the joy
Trace we the Babe, who hath retrieved our loss
From His poor manger to His bitter cross
Treading His steps, assisted by His grace
Till man's first heavenly state again takes place

Then may we hope, the angelic thrones among
To sing, redeemed, a glad triumphal song
He that was born upon this joyful day
Around us all His glory shall display
Saved by His love, incessant we shall sing
Of angels and of angel-men the King

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