By William C. Dix in 1867
Like silver lamps in a distant shrine,
The stars are sparkling bright
The bells of the city of God ring out,
For the Son of Mary is born to-night.
The gloom is past
And the morn at last
Is coming with orient light.
No earthly songs are half so sweet
As those which are filling the skies,
And never a palace shone half so fair
As the manger-bed where our Saviour lies;
No night in the year
Is half so dear
As this which has ended our sighs.
The stars of heaven still shine as at first
They gleamed on this wonderful night;
The bells of the city of God peal out
And the angels’ song still rings in the height,
And love still turns
Where the Godhead burns
Hid in flesh from fleshly sight.
Faith sees no longer the stable floor,
The pavement of sapphire is there
The clear light of heaven streams out to the world
And the angels of God are crowding the air,
And heaven and earth
Through the spotless birth
Are at peace on this night so fair