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Short poem

Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
George Whitfield (1714-1770)
Martin Madan (1726-1790)

For Christmas Day: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing

              1Hark! the herald Angels sing,
              2Glory to the new-born King,
              3Peace on earth and mercy mild,
              4God and sinner reconcil'd.
              5    Hark! the herald Angels sing,
              6    Glory to the new-born King.

              7Joyful all ye nations rise,
              8Join the triumph of the skies,
              9With the angelic host proclaim,
            10Christ is born in Bethlehem.
            11    Hark! the herald Angels sing,
            12    Glory to the new-born King.

            13Christ by highest Heaven ador'd,
            14Christ the everlasting Lord!
            15Late in time behold him come,
            16Offspring of a virgin's womb.
            17    Hark! the herald Angels sing,
            18    Glory to the new-born King.

            19Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
            20Hail, the incarnate Deity,
            21Pleased as Man with man to dwell,
            22Jesus our Immanuel!
            23    Hark! the herald Angels sing,
            24    Glory to the new-born King.

            25Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace!
            26Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
            27Light and life to all he brings,
            28Risen with healing in his wings.
            29    Hark! the herald Angels sing,
            30    Glory to the new-born King.

            31Mild he lays his glory by,
            32Born that man no more may die,
            33Born to raise the sons of earth,
            34Born to give them second birth.
            35    Hark! the herald Angels sing,
            36    Glory to the new-born King.


1] Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy supplied the customary melody: see The Cambridge Hymnal, edited by David Holbrook and Elizabeth Poston (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1967), pp. 238-39. Charles Wesley's original text was extensively rewritten in 1753, 1760, and 1782 (Holbrook and Poston, p. 343). Lines 19-24, not in Sandys's version, are supplied from The Cambridge Hymnal.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern, ed. William Sandys (London: Richard Beckley, 1833), pp. 143-44. PR 1195 C2S2 1973 MUS
First publication date: 1749
Publication date note: Charles Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems, 2 vols. (Bristol: Felix Farley, 1749). No. 138 1749 Green VUWE 1-2
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 1998
Recent editing: 2:2002/7/3

Composition date: 1749
Rhyme: aabbcc

Other poems by Charles Wesley
Other poems by George Whitfield
Other poems by Martin Madan