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The lullaby is by George Wither (1588-1667). Ralph Vaughan Williams composed the splendidly fitting music (do hear the ‘rocking’?). The original poem has at least 11 verses, and the three verses sung in the video are below. More are available here. (Harry Christopher and the Sixteen sing several more verses on their album A Traditional Christmas Carol Collection, Vol. II.) The baby’s parent first comforts him generally, and then turns to comfort him with the truth of the incarnation of Christ.

1. Sweet baby, sleep; what ails my dear?
What ails my darling thus to cry?
Be still, my child, and lend thine ear
To hear me sing thy lullaby.
My pretty lamb, forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.

5. When God with us was dwelling here,
In little babes he took delight:
Such innocents as then, my dear,
Are ever precious in his sight.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.

6. A little infant once was he,
And Strength-in-Weakness then was laid
Upon his virgin-mother’s knee,
That power to thee might be conveyed.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.

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