Indiana University Bloomington

Dr. Watts's Cradle Hymn

How much better thou'rt attended
  Than the Son of God could be,
When from heaven he descended,
  And became a child like thee!
Soft and easy is thy cradle,
  Coarse and hard thy Saviour lay,
When his birth-place was a stable,
  And his softest bed was hay.
Blessed babe! what glorious features,
  Spotless, fair, divinely bright!
Must he dwell with brutal creatures?
  How could angels bear the sight?
Was there nothing but a manger,
  Cursed sinners could afford,
To receive the heav'nly stranger?
  Did they thus affront the Lord?
Soft, my child, I did not chide thee,
  Though my song may sound too hard:
'Tis thy mother sits beside thee,
  And her arms shall be thy guard.
Yet, to read the shameful story,
  How the Jews abus'd their King;
How they serv'd the Lord of Glory,
  Makes me angry while I sing.


"A Cradle Hymn" was first published in Isaac Watts' Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language for the Use of Children in 1715. However, it was not added to the Primer until the middle of the eighteenth century, when the book was revised and made more evangelical during the First Great Awakening.

View the Next Section |View the Previous Section
Back to Top

Lilly Library Home     Exhibition Home     Online Exhibitions
Last Updated: 17 August 2009
(c) 2009 The Trustees of Indiana University