A 19th Century American Christmas Hymn

Hymn By Sarah Josepha Hale  in Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, December 1859. Sarah J. Hale was one of the editors of Godey’s, and is most remembered as the author of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.

Hail, hail the happy morn,
When Christ our Lord was born
Sound, sound His praise!
The Prince of Righteousness,
He came our world to bless,
The glorious hymn of “peace”
On earth to raise.

Angels the song began,
And then to ransomed man
The strain was given:
Hark! joining sweet and mild
The voice of little child,
Blessed by his Saviour mild,
May sing of heaven.

Peace, peace! What blissful sound!
Let hope and joy abound
This happy day:
We praise thee, God above!
Our lives thy blessing prove;
Thanks, for thy light and love,
Our souls would pay.

Sound, sound the loudest strain!
Let earth, and sky, and main
The anthem raise:
Father, thy love we bless,
Saviour, we ask thy “peace,”
Spirit, we beg thy grace,
When God we praise.

Old-fashioned scene going to Church on Christmas

Winter scene from a 19th century trade card.

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