1. Once in royal David's city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ, her little child.

2. He came down to earth from heaven
who is God and Lord of all;
and his shelter was a stable
and his cradle was a stall:
with the poor and mean and lowly
lived on earth our Saviour holy.

3. And through all his wondrous childhood
day by day like us he grew,
he was little, weak and helpless,
tears and smiles like us he knew;
and he feels for all our sadness,
and he shares in all our gladness.

4. And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love,
for that child so dear and gentle
is our Lord in heaven above;
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.

5. Not in that poor lowly stable
with the oxen standing by,
we shall see him, but in heaven,
set at God's right hand on high;
there his children gather round
bright like stars, with glory crowned.

C F Alexander (1818-1895)