"What Child Is This?" is a popular Christmas carol with lyrics written in 1865. At the age of 29, 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?"
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!