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HE blessed Virgin travailed without pain,
And lodged in an inn,

A glorious star the sign,

But of a greater guest than ever came that way,
For there he lay

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;
And sets us free

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,
And cause that sin

May not profane the Deity within,

And sully o'er the ornaments of grace.

Jeremy Taylor.


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;
In a poor cottage inned, a virgin maid,
There is he poorly swaddled, in manger laid,
A weakling did him bear, who all upbears,

To whom too narrow swaddlings are our spheres :
Run, shepherds, run, and solemnize his birth,
This is that night, no,-day grown great with bliss,
In which the power of Satan broken is;

In Heaven be glory, peace unto the earth.
Thus singing through the air the angels swam,
And cope of stars re-echoéd the same.

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William Drummond.



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
That heaven-sent Youngling, holy maid-born Wight,
Midst, end, beginning of our prophesies :

Blest cottage that hath flowers in winter spread,
Though withered; blessed grass, that hath the grace
To deck, and be a carpet to that place.

Thus sang, unto the sounds of oaten reed,
Before the Babe, the shepherds bowed on knees,
And springs ran nectar, honey dropt from trees.
William Drummond.



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;
Apollo, Pallas, Jove and Mars,

Held undisturbed their ancient reign,
In the solemn midnight
Centuries ago!

'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
Centuries ago!

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;
The air how calm and cold and thin,
In the solemn midnight
Centuries ago!

O strange indifference!- low and high
Drowsed over common joys and cares:
The earth was still-but knew not why;
The world was listening - unawares!
How calm a moment may precede

One that shall thrill the world forever!
To that still moment none would heed,
Man's doom was linked no more to sever
In the solemn midnight
Centuries ago!

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 night that erst no name had worn,
To it a happy name is given;
For in that stable lay new-born

The peaceful Prince of Earth and Heaven
In the solemn midnight

Centuries ago!

Alfred Domett.



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,
Low lies his head with the beasts of the stall;
Angels adore him in slumber reclining,
Maker, and Monarch, and Saviour of all.

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Say, shall we yield him, in costly devotion,
Odors of Edom, and offerings divine,
Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest, and gold from the mine?

Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gold would his favor secure;
Richer by far is the heart's adoration,
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid;
Star of the cast, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our Infant Redeemer is laid.

Reginald Heber.

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