Cool and clear was the night
That shepherds watched their sheep;
Up in fields on yonder hills,
While in the valley Bethlehem lay asleep.

They gazed up into the starry sky,
And they talked of things yet to be
They talked of the Promised One,
And of Messiah, who their hearts longed to see.

As shepherds watched their slumbering sheep,
A glorious star appeared that night.
It was brighter than ten thousand stars;
The dark sky it made seem light.

“What can this thing mean?”
The shepherds watched with fear,
When an angel said to them,
“Don’t be afraid; I bring a message of good cheer!”

“Today time is fulfilled and the Messiah
That you long for, now at last has come!
Born this night in Bethlehem’s stable,
You will find the Promised One.”

When he had finished speaking,
The sky was again filled with light,
Ten thousand and ten thousand angels
Filled the air with song that night.

“Glory to God in the Highest!”
In triumph their voices rang,
“And peace on earth, goodwill to men!”
In glory the angels sang.

Then all was quiet again,
The night once more was still.
But never did the shepherds  forget,
That night with rapture filled.

When angels sang on Bethelhem-hills,
While all the world was asleep
And welcomed our Messiah,
While shepherds watched their sheep.

poem by C. Harding