This hymn is one of my Christmas favorites, but because of all of the standard "favorites," it rarely gets used.
The tune, "This Endris Nyght" is an English 15th century carol, and the text, with it's very powerful final verse was written by Thomas Pestel (1584-1659). He was a chaplain to King Charles I, and was Rector of Packington, Leicestershire, until he was sequestrated from it by the Westminster Assembly in 1646. His works include: "Sermons and Devotions Old and New," published in London in 1659.
May all hearts that "are not stone" give thanks for the birth of the Lord.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to ALL!
(One full verse of introduction.)
Behold the great Creator makes
Himself a house of clay,
A robe of virgin flesh he takes
Which he will wear for ay.
Hark, hark, the wise eternal Word,
Like a weak infant cries!
In form of servant is the Lord,
And God in cradle lies.
This wonder struck the world amazed,
It shook the starry frame;
Squadrons of spirits stooped and gazed,
Then down in troops they came.
Glad shepherds ran to view this sight;
A choir of angels sings,
And eastern sages with delight
Adore this King of kings.
Join then all hearts that are not stone,
And all our voices prove,
To celebrate this holy One,
The God of peace and love.