« PreviousContinue »
CHRIST'S BIRTH IN AN INN.
HE blessed Virgin travailed without pain,
A glorious star the sign,
But of a greater guest than ever came that way,
That is the God of night and day,
And over all the powers of heaven doth reign.
It was the time of great Augustus' tax,
And then He comes
That pays all sums,
Even the whole price of lost humanity;
From the ungodly emperie
Of sin, of Satan, and of death.
O, make our hearts, blest God, thy lodging-place!
And in our breast
Be pleased to rest,
For thou lov'st temples better than an inn,
May not profane the Deity within,
And sully o'er the ornaments of grace.
THE ANGELS' SONG.
UN, shepherds, run where Bethlem blest appears,
best of news, be not
A Saviour there is born, more old than years,
Amidst Heaven's rolling heights this earth who stayed;
To whom too narrow swaddlings are our spheres :
In Heaven be glory, peace unto the earth.
THE SHEPHERDS' SONG.
THAN the fairest day, thrice fairer night! Night to best days in which a sun doth rise, Of which that golden eye, which clears the skies, Is but a sparkling ray, a shadow light:
And blessed ye, in silly pastor's sight,
Mild creatures, in whose warm crib now lies
Blest cottage that hath flowers in winter spread,
Thus sang, unto the sounds of oaten reed,
A CHRISTMAS HYMN.
T was the calm and silent night! Seven hundred years and fifty-three Had Rome been growing up to might,
And now was Queen of land and sea! No sound was heard of clashing wars;
Peace brooded o'er the hushed domain;
Held undisturbed their ancient reign,
'T was in the calm and silent night! The senator of haughty Rome Impatient urged his chariot's flight,
From lordly revel rolling home! Triumphal arches gleaming swell
His breast with thoughts of boundless sway; What recked the Roman what befell
A paltry province far away,
In the solemn midnight
Within that province far away
Went plodding home a weary boor: A streak of light before him lay,
Fallen through a half-shut stable-door Across his path. He passed for naught Told what was going on within;
How keen the stars! his only thought;
O strange indifference!- low and high
One that shall thrill the world forever!
It is the calm and solemn night!
A thousand bells ring out, and throw Their joyous peals abroad, and smite
The darkness, charmed and holy now!
The peaceful Prince of Earth and Heaven
THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM.
RIGHTEST and best of the sons of the morning, Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid: Star of the east, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.
Cold on his cradle the dew-drops are shining,
Say, shall we yield him, in costly devotion,
Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,