who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
4 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
5 And he shall be their peace.
O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight
For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth
How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.
Where children pure and happy
pray to the blessèd Child,
Where misery cries out to Thee,
Son of the mother mild; or Son of the undefiled
Where charity stands watching
and faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks,
and Christmas comes once more.
O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel
Philip Brooks is the author of this hymn.
At Christmastime three years later, recalling that magical night in Bethlehem, Phillip wrote a song for the children's choir of his church. His organist put melody to his words and on Christmas Eve, 1868, O Little Town of Bethlehem was sung for the very first time (source).
Americans tend to sing this hymn to the tune of St. Louis while British folks sing it to the tune of Forest Green.