"What Child Is This?" is a popular Christmas Carol written in 1865. At the age of twenty-nine, English writer William Chatterton Dix was struck with a sudden near-fatal illness and confined to bedrest for several months, during which he went into a deep depression. Yet out of his near-death experience, Dix wrote many hymns, including a poem entitled, "The Manger Throne," from which three stanzas were later culled, set to the traditional English tune "Greensleeves," and retitled as "What Child Is This?"

Lyrics:

1. What Child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping,
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The babe, the Son of Mary!

2. Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The Cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word Made Flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

3. So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
Come, peasant, king, to own Him!
The King of Kings salvation brings;
Let loving hearts enthrone Him!
Raise, raise the song on high!
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy! joy! for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

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