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The Manger Throne

Composer

Charles Steggall

SATB

William Chatterton Dix

Text

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.

Never fell melodies half so sweet2
   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.

Now a new Power has come on the earth,
   A match for the armies of Hell:
A Child is born who shall conquer the foe,
   And all the spirits of wickedness quell:
For Mary's Son is the Mighty One
   Whom the prophets of God foretell.

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.

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The Manger Throne - Stegall

Created 26-Nov-08


Editors Note 1: The harmonies here are as printed in "Carols Old and New." The position of the words for verses 1 and 2 are also as printed. No aid is given for subsequent verses therfore the positioning is that of the editor.

Editors Note 2: It seems that the fusion of words with music leaves much to be desired. One wonders why a prominat scholar and musician as Sir John Stainer included it in his book. Little wonder that it has not stood the test of time. (The editor is willing to be corrected on this issue) R.M.
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