Christmastide

In the barren white of winter’s snow,

With darkness all around,

On wild paths where shepherds climb,

And donkeys bear King David’s line,

The Virgin humbly goes.

 

Wombed in warmth the Redeemer treads,

Beneath the star that lights the land,

For frozen palm and icy road,

Or fallen rock and heavy load,

Trouble not his infant head.

 

The Key of David descends the height,

The God of One-in-Three,

And from the womb in flesh He springs,

In cries of pain the King of Kings,

Is come on Christmas night.

 

Angels crowd the frozen air,

And Joseph gazes on,

At the Son he means to always guard,

Against the hate of a world made hard,

And his maid so pure and fair.

 

Holy Mary beholds her Son,

As in a stable born,

And ragged men in wondrous awe,

All crowded closely at the door,

Kneel to the Holy One.

 

Hope is come at the break of ages,

All history bowing low,

For night is naught in Bethlehem,

The Word made flesh in Bethlehem,

Revealed to eastern sages.

 

As a captain leading from the fore,

Or a king that ploughs the field,

Is come the Christ; a new-born child,

Of all God’s loves, none formed so mild,

In the wintry days of yore.

 

In Bethlehem the angels grow,

So glad they sing aloud,

Of a king asleep upon the hay,

Born upon a Christmas day,

In hill-lands long ago.

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