THIS has long been a great favourite with the Manx singers, who annually used to go from house to house and carol it forth on Christmas morning, long exe the break of day ; but, like many other customs, now gradually falling into disuse, along with the carvals sung in the Churches on Christmas eve, called the oiel-verree. This is about a century old, and is said to have been written by Mr. Greatorex.
CHRISTIANS awake! salute the happy morn,
Whereon the Saviour of the world was born,
Rise and adore the mystery of love,
Which hosts of angels chaunted from above;
With them the joyful tidings first begun,
Of God incarnate and the Virgin's son,
Then to the watchful shepherds it was told,
Who heard the angelic herald's voice-
" Behold, I bring good tidings of a Saviour's birth,
To you and all the nations of the earth;
This day hath God fulfilled his promised word,
This day is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord.
In David's city, shepherds, ye shall find,
The long foretold Redeemer of mankind,
Wrapt up in swaddling-clothes, the babe divine,
Lies in a manger-this shall be the sign."
He spake, and straightway the celestial choir
In hymns of joy unknown before conspire.
Th' praises of redeeming love they sung,
And heaven's whole orb with hallelujahs rang:
God's highest glory was their anthem still,
Peace upon earth and mutual goodwill.
To Bethlehem straight the enlightened shepherds ran,
To see the wonders God had wrought for man.
And found with Joseph and the blessed maid
Her son, the Saviour, in a manger laid.
Amazed, the wond'rous story they proclaim,
The first apostles of his infant fame,
Which Mary keeps and ponders in her heart,
The heavenly vision which the swains impart.
They to their flocks still praising God return,
And their glad hearts within their bosoms burn.
Let us, like these good shepherds, then employ
Our grateful voices to proclaim the joy;
Like Mary, let us ponder in our mind
God's wond'rous love in saving lost mankind.
Artless and watchful are these favoured swain,
Whilst virgin meekness in their hearts remain.
Trace we the babe, who has retrieved our loss,
From this poor manger to his bitter cross,
Treading his steps, assisted by his grace,
Till man's first heavenly state again takes place.
Then may we hope, the angelic throngs among,
To sing redeemed, a glad triumphant song;
He that was born upon this joyful day
Around us all his glory shall display:
Saved by his love, incessant we shall sing,
Of angels, and of angel-men the king