John Speller's Web Pages Shepherds rejoice! lift up your eyes

John Speller's Web Pages - Dorsetshire Carols
Shepherds rejoice! lift up your eyes
The title of this carol is found in the index of a manuscript of carols that formerly belonged to Joseph Willcox (b.1823), of Coombe Keynes, Dorset and dating from the 1830s or 1840s. The text by Isaac Watts (1674-1748) is taken from Horae Lyrica (1709). I have been unable to locate a tune for the text.

“Shepherds, rejoice! lift up your eyes,
And send your fears away;
News from the regions of the skies,
Salvation’s born today.

“Jesus, the God Whom angels fear,
Comes down to dwell with you;
Today he makes his entrance here,
But not as monarchs do.

“No gold nor purple swaddling bands.
Nor royal shining things;
A manger for his cradle stands,
And holds the King of kings.

“Go, shepherds, where the Infant lies,
And see his humble throne
With tears of joy in all your eyes,
Go, shepherds, kiss the Son.”

Thus Gabriel sang, and straight around
The heavenly armies throng;
They tune their harps to lofty sound,
And thus conclude the song:

“Glory to God that reigns above!
Let peace surround the earth!
Mortals shall know their Maker’s love,
At their Redeemer’s birth.”

Lord, and shall angels have their songs,
And men no tunes to raise?
O may we lose our useless tongues
When they forget to praise.

Glory to God that reigns above,
That pitied us forlorn;
We join to sing our Maker’s love,
For there’s a Savior born.

The village of Coombe Keynes, near Wareham, Dorset. Image © copyright John Lamper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
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