My translation/paraphrase of the carol written by Placide Cappeau (1808-77).

Minuit, chrétiens

Midnight, O midnight, is the holy moment
When God who is truly Man comes to you:
He shall remove all darkness and defilement,
Descend from heaven to make all things new!
The whole world thrills with eager expectation:
The night which makes all people reconciled
Now has arrived. O kneel in adoration!
Behold, behold, your Saviour is a Child.

Now may the light of faith endlessly burning
Show us the way to the cradle of birth,
Just as of old, a star as bright as morning
Led Eastern sages across desert earth.
The King of Kings is born where beasts are feeding:
O powers-that-seem, so boastful of your place,
Proud men and cold, turn arrogance to pleading.
The Child is God, his Mother full of grace.

The Saviour's strength has burst through every fetter;
Divine Love flows, and our world now is free:
A lowly slave becomes a prince's brother;
Chains break asunder in sweet liberty!
What shall we give the Lord for all his goodness,
Made flesh for us, to suffer pain and death?
Rise from your sleep!  Deliverance is upon us!
A Child is born. Praise him with every breath.

Poetry by Thomas D The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2020-12-24 at 07:07

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josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
Well done Thomas much more true to the original than the emancipated American English version.