Hark! the herald angels sing

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General information

This is a Christmas hymn, originally by Charles Wesley, published in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

The Charles Wesley text given is that of Hymn For Christmas Day from the fourth (1743) edition of Hymns and Sacred Poems by John and Charles Wesley. The Hark, the herald angels sing variation seems to have originated from Martin Madan (1760), but it has undergone other amendations, most notably by George Whitfield (1753). Sometimes the original fifth stanza is given with four lines in reverse order, and it is also the case that the stanzas have sometimes been reordered (both evident in The Hymnal 1982 of The Episcopal Church).

The original text was set in ten 77. 77 meter stanzas, the now traditional setting is in meter 77. 77. D with refrain (taken from the first two lines of the typical variation).

English.png English text

Charles Wesley, 1739
1. Hark how all the welkin rings
“Glory to the King of kings
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”

2. Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
Universal nature say
“Christ the Lord is born to day!”



3. Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.

4. Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate deity!
Pleased as man with men to appear
Jesus, our Immanuel here!

5. Hail the heavenly Prince of Peace!
Hail the sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.

6. Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

7. Come, desire of nations, come,
Fix in us thy humble home,
Rise, the woman’s conquering seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.

8. Now display thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore,
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.

9. Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp thy image in its place,
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.

10. Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the life, the inner man:
O! To all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.

 

Charles Wesley, 1743
1. Hark, how all the welkin rings
"Glory to the King of kings;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"

2. Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal nature say,
"Christ the Lord is born to-day!"



3. Christ, by highest Heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord:
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin's womb!

4. Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with men to appear,
Jesus, our Immanuel here!

5. Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace,
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.

6. Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth;
Born to give them second birth.

7. Come, desire of nations, come,
Fix in us thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conquering seed,
Bruise in us the serpents head.

8. Now display thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.

9. Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp thy image in its place.
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.

10. Let us thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the life, the inner man
O, to all thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.

 

George Whitefield, 1753
1. Hark! The herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled.

2. Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumphs of the skies;
Nature rise and worship him,
Who is born at Bethlehem.



3. Christ by highest heaven adored,
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the virgin’s womb.

4. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate deity!
Pleased as man with med to appear
Jesus our Emmanuel here.

5. Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of righteousness!
Light and life around He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings.

6. Mild He lays his glory by,
Born that men no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

7. Come, desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy heavenly home:
Rise the woman’s conquering Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.






8. Adam’s likeness now efface,
Stamp Thy image in its place;
Second Adam from above,
Work it in us by Thy love.

 

Cyber Hymnal
1. Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
With the angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Refrain
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King!”

2. Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate deity;
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus. our Emmanuel.


3. Hail the heavenly Prince of Peace,
Hail the Sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.


4. Come, desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conquering Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore,
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.


5. Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place;
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain
Thee, the life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart
Formed in each believing heart.

Italian.png Italian translation

(incomplete)

Cantan gli Angeli nei cieli, Gloria Gloria al Redentor,
sopra gli uomini e le cose, sia la pace del Signor,
I confini della terra, sian segnati dall'Amore,

non fuggire dal suo Amor, Egli è venuto anche per te.

Dutch.png Dutch translation

Hoor, de eng'len zingen 'd eer van de nieuw geboren Heer!
Vreed' op aarde, 't is vervuld: God verzoent der mensen schuld.
Voegt u, volken, in het koor, dat weerklinkt de hemel door,
zingt met algemene stem voor het kind van Bethlehem!
Hoor, de eng'len zingen d'eer van de nieuwgeboren Heer!

Hij, die heerst op 's hemels troon, Here Christus, Vaders Zoon,
wordt geboren uit een maagd op de tijd die God behaagt.
Zonne der gerechtigheid, woord dat vlees geworden zijt,
tussen alle mensen in, in het menselijk gezin.
Hoor de eng'len zingen d'eer van de nieuwgeboren Heer!

Lof aan U die eeuwig leeft en op aarde vrede geeft,
Gij die ons geworden zijt taal en teken in de tijd,
al uw glorie legt Gij af ons tot redding uit het graf,
dat wij ongerept en rein nieuwgeboren zouden zijn.
Hoor de eng'len zingen d'eer van de nieuwgeboren Heer!

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