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A beautiful, gentle Victorian miniature for Christmas, originally written by Dykes around 1870, to words from around 20 years earlier. This arrangement does not include the original organ intro and outro, so that it may be used for a cappella concerts.

 

Sleep, Holy Babe! upon thy mother’s breast;
Great Lord of earth and sea and sky,
How sweet it is to see thee lie
In such a place of rest.

 

Sleep, Holy Babe! thine angels watch around,
All bending low with folded wings,
Before th’incarnate King of kings,
In reverent awe profound.

 

Sleep, Holy Babe! while I with Mary gaze
In joy upon that face awhile,
Upon the loving infant smile
Which there divinely plays.

 

Sleep, Holy Babe! ah! take thy brief repose;
Too quickly will thy slumbers break,
And thou to lengthened pains awake
That death alone shall close.

 

Video of Sleep, Holy Babe! sung by the chapel choir of King's  College Cambridge: https://youtu.be/VXLEzjSjD_c

 

The story of Nine Lessons and Carols at King's (from the Archive of Recorded Church Music):

https://recordedchurchmusic.org/story-of-nine-lessons

Sleep, Holy Babe! ~ John Bacchus Dykes

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