Let sighing cease and woe (Anonymous)
First published: 1562 in Day's 'Psalter'
Original text and translations
Let sighing cease and woe,
God from on high hath heard;
Heav’n’s gate is opening wide, and lot
The long-expected Word,
Peace—through the deep of night
The heavenly quire breaks forth,
Singing with festal songs and bright
Our God and Saviour’s birth.
The cave of Bethlehem
Those wakeful shepherds seek;
Let us, too, rise and greet with them
That Infant pure and meek.
We enter—at the door
What marvel meets the eye?
A crib, a mother pale and poor,
A child of poverty.
Art thou the eternal Son,
The eternal Father’s ray?
Whose little hand, thou Infant one,
Doth lift the world alway?
Yea—faith through that dim cloud
Like lightning darts before,
And greets thee, at whose footstool bow’d
Heav’n’s trembling hosts adore.
Our Master—silent yet,
Thou teachest from thy chair;
“Shun that on which thy flesh is set;
What flesh abhorreth, bear.”
Chaste be our love like thine,
Our swelling souls bring low,
And in our hearts, O Babe divine,
Be born, abide, and grow.
So shall thy Birth-day morn,
Lord Christ, our birth-day be:
Then greet we all, ourselves new-born,
Our King’s Nativity.
Borne at a Virgin’s breast,
Jesu, be praise to thee,
With Sire and Holy Spirit blest,
Through all eternity. Amen.