Softly the Night is Sleeping

“Softly the Night is Sleeping” is a Nativity poem by the Rev. Edward Abiel Washburn (1819-1881), a noted American Episcopal clergyman who studied at both Harvard and Yale, and who served parishes in Newburyport, Massachusetts; Hartford, Connecticut; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and New York City. A renowned preacher, he also translated Latin hymns as well as authoring a number of his own poems.

In three verses, Washburn’s poem recalls the Bethlehem hillside where shepherds watched their flocks by night, the virgin mother Mary, the infant Jesus in the manger, the heavenly host singing “Gloria,” the bright star shining above, the arrival of the Magi, and more. Each unison verse, which may be assigned as written or at the director’s discretion, is followed by a chorus with full SATB voices singing “Glory to God! Peace on the earth, good will to men.” Parts for solo C instrument (oboe, flute, violin) and solo Bb clarinet are included.

SATB/piano score (8 pages, 8.5×11″) — $2.00 USD/copy

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