A Child is born in Bethlehem;
Exult for joy, Jerusalem! Alleluia.
Lo, He who reigns above the skies
There, in a manger lowly, lies. Alleluia.
The ox and ass in neighbouring stall
See in that Child the Lord of all. Alleluia.
And kingly pilgrims, long foretold,
From East bring incense, myrrh, and gold, Alleluia.
And enter with their offerings,
To hail the new-born King of Kings. Alleluia.
He comes, a maiden mother's Son,
Yet earthly father hath He none; Alleluia.
And, from the serpent's poison free,
He owned our blood and pedigree. Alleluia.
Our feeble flesh and His the same,
Our sinless kinsman He became, Alleluia.
That we, from deadly thrall set free,
Like Him, and so like God, should be. Alleluia.
Come then, and on this natal day,
Rejoice before the Lord and pray. Alleluia.
And to the Holy One in Three
Give praise and thanks eternally. Alleluia
The melody of the fourteenth century Christmas Carol Puer Natus in Bethlehem exists in two forms. The first was published in Joseph Klug's Geistliche Lieder zu Wittemberg, 1543. In 1553 it appears as the Tenor of a four part setting in Lucas Lossius' Psalmodia, hoc est, Cantica sacra vetris ecclisiae selecta, Nürnberg 1553.
Somewhere along the line, the Lossius descant of 1553 [S1012] replaced the 1543 tenor [S1479] to become the melody PUER NATUS.
In Vulpius (1609) the original melody [S1479] is sighted again, this time as one of the many melodies used to set Luther's Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schaar.
Many settings have the last three syllables of the first line repeated instead of the Alleluia.