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Behold, a silly tender babe in freezing winter night, In homely manger trembling lies; alas, a piteous sight! The inns are full, no man will yield this little pilgrim bed. But forced he is with silly beasts, in crib to shroud his head. This stable is a Prince's court, this crib his chair of State; The beasts are parcel of his pomp, this wooden dish his plate. The persons in that poor attire his royal liveries wear; The Prince himself is come from Heav'n; this pomp is prizèd there. With joy approach o Christian wight, do homage to thy King; And highly praise his humble pomp, which he from Heav'n doth bring.
- by Robert Southwell (1561? - 1595) [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Ronald A. Beckett , "In freezing winter night
", 1989, published 2008 [voice and piano], in Songs and Arias, Volume 1 [text not verified]
- by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "In freezing winter night", op. 28 no. 8 (1942) [treble chorus, solo voices, and harp], from A Ceremony of Carols, no. 8. [text verified 1 time]
- by Mick Swithinbank (b. 1953), "In freezing winter night" [SSATB chorus a cappella] [text verified 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "In frost’ger Winternacht", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title unknown, copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Tom White
This text was added to the website: 2007-10-01
Line count: 10
Word count: 112
Schaut, ein unschuldig zartes Kind in frost’ger Winternacht zitternd in einer Krippe liegt - wie herzzerreißend, ach! Herberge und ein Bett, zu ruhn, gibt man ihm nirgendwo. So ruht bei Ochs und Esel es in einer Kripp’ auf Stroh. Der Stall ist nun ein Fürstenhof, die Krippe ist sein Thron; ein hölz’ner Teller sein Gedeck, Tiere sein Hofstaat schon. Als wär’s ein höfisches Gewand wirkt Volkes schlichte Tracht; Der Prinz selbst kam vom Himmel hoch; dort preist man diese Pracht. Tritt her mit Freud’, o Christenmensch, bring deinem König Ehr; lobpreise seine schlichte Pracht, die kommt vom Himmel her.
- Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2015 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.
Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT) t-online.deIf you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
This text was added to the website: 2015-07-26
Line count: 10
Word count: 99