"Glory to the King of kings;
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
universal nature say,
"Christ the Lord is born today!"
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 as man with men to appear,
Jesus, our Emmanuel here!
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.
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.
Adam's likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp thy 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.
Charles Wesley 1739
This is my all time favorite Christmas Carol, in its original form. Wesley envisioned it sung to the tune of his Easter hymn "Christ the Lord is Risen Today", and the words and music we sing today were adaptions added later, by others. Of course I love the familiar hymn, but the original poem and music certainly have power all their own.