The Wise Men from the East (“Die Weisen aus dem Morgenlande”) by Paul Mohn
Little town of Bethlehem, we see you lie so still. The silent stars go by above your deep and dreamless sleep, yet the everlasting light shines in your dark streets. Tonight the hopes and fears of all the years meet in you.
For Christ is born of Mary, and the angels, all gathered together up above, keep their watch of wondering love while mortals sleep. Morning stars, proclaim the holy birth together. Sing praises to God the king, and sing peace to people on earth.
The wondrous gift is given so silently. That’s how God imparts the blessings of his heaven to human hearts. It might be that nobody will hear his coming, but in this world of sin the dear Christ still comes in where meek souls will receive him.
[Original Text: Phillips Brooks]
Christmas by Grigory Gagarin
At midnight on a clear night, that glorious old song came from angels bending to touch their golden harps to the earth: “Heaven’s all-gracious king says, ‘Peace on the earth, good will to everyone.'” The earth itself lay solemn and still so it could hear the angels sing.
Angels are still coming through the opened skies with their peaceful wings spread out. Their heavenly music still floats over the whole tired world, and hovering on their wings over the sad and lowly plains they set to their task. The blessed angels even now sing over the babel sounds of the world.
Look! The days seen of old by prophets are coming quickly—the days when the time foretold will arrive with the unending whirl of years. At that time a new heaven and earth will accept their king, the prince of peace, and the whole world will repeat again the song which the angels now sing.
[Original Text: Edmund H. Sears]
[Note: The original has angels “bending” twice, and in neither case am I really sure what it means. Are they physically bending? Are they bowing? Praying? Submitting? Working at some purpose? So I left the first “bending” alone and changed the second one to “set to their task”.]
Birth of Christ (“Geburt Christi”) by Bernardo Daddi
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head in a manger far away, without even having a crib to use as a bed. The stars in the heavens looked down where the little Lord Jesus lay asleep on the hay.
The cows are mooing. The poor baby wakes up, but little Lord Jesus doesn’t cry. I love you, Lord Jesus. Look down from the sky and stay by my cradle until morning comes.
Be near me, Lord Jesus. Stay close by me forever. I pray that you love me. Bless all the dear children in your tender care, and get us ready to live with you in heaven.
[Original Text: author unknown]