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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 straightway 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 mutual good will.
To Bethlehem straight the enlightened shepherds ran,
to see the wonder God had wrought for man
and found, with Joseph and the blessèd maid,
her Son, the Savior, in a manger laid:
amazed the wondrous story they proclaim,
the first apostles of his infant fame.
O may we keep and ponder in our mind
God's wondrous love in saving lost mankind;
trace we the Babe, who hath retrieved our loss,
from his poor manger to his bitter cross;
tread in 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.