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Once in Royal David's City


cffblog6.jpgDecember 16, 2017 (Saturday)

Written in 1848 by Mrs C F Alexander (1818-95, author of 'All things bright and beautiful' and 'There is a green hill'), with the aim of explaining to children the mystery of the Incarnation. The tune is by H J Gauntlett. Famous for opening an annual broadcast in which the first verse is always sung by a lone voice.


ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID'S CITY

Once in royal David's city,
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby
In a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven
Who is God and Lord of all,
And his shelter was a stable,
And his cradle was a stall;
With the poor and mean and lowly
Lived on earth our Saviour holy.

And through all his wondrous childhood
He would honour and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden,
In whose gentle arms he lay:
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as he.

For he is our childhood's pattern,
Day by day, like us he grew,
He was little, weak and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us he knew:
And he feeleth for our sadness
And he shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see him,
Through his own redeeming love,
For that child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in heaven above;
And he leads his children on
To the place where he is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see him: but in heaven,
Set at God's right hand on high;
Where like stars his children crowned
All in white shall wait around.

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