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Sweet baby, sleep (1871)

Sweet baby, sleep

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.
Thou blessed soul, what canst thou fear?
What thing to thee can mischief do?
Thy God is now thy father dear;
His holy spouse thy mother too.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.
Whilst thus thy lullaby I sing,
For thee great blessings ripening be;
Thine eldest brother is a king,
And hath a kingdom bought for thee.
Sweet baby, then, forebear to weep,
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.
Sweet baby, sleep, and nothing fear,
For whosoever thee offends,
By thy protector threatened are,
And God and angels are thy friends.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.
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.
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.
In this thy frailty and thy need
He friends and helpers doth prepare,
Which thee shall cherish, clothe and feed,
For of thy weal they tender are.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.
The King of kings when he was born,
Had not so much for outward case;
By him such dressings were not worn,
Nor suchlike swaddling-clothes as these.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.
Within a manger lodged thy Lord,
Where oxen lay and asses fed;
Warm rooms we do to thee afford,
An easy cradle or a bed.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.
The wants that He did then sustain
Have purchased wealth, my babe, for thee,
And by His torments and His pain
Thy rest and ease securëd be.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.
Thou hast (yet more), to perfect this,
A promise and an earnest got
Of gaining everlasting bliss,
Though thou, my babe, perceiv'st it not.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.

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Composer

Charles-François Gounod was a French composer, best known for his Ave Maria, based on a work by Bach, as well as his opera Faust.

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