Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IN THE HOLY NATIVITY [OF OUR LORD GOD]; AS SUNG BY SHEPHERDS, by RICHARD CRASHAW



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IN THE HOLY NATIVITY [OF OUR LORD GOD]; AS SUNG BY SHEPHERDS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Come, we shepherds, whose blest sight
Last Line: Our selves become our own best sacrifice.
Variant Title(s): At Bethlehem;hymn Of The Nativity;the Nativity;hymn In The Holy Nativity (2)
Subject(s): Christmas; Jesus Christ; Nativity, The


Chorus. Come we shepheards whose blest Sight
Hath mett love's Noon in Nature's night;
Come lift we up our loftyer Song
And wake the SUN that lyes too long.

To all our world of well-stoln joy
He slept; and dream't of no such thing.
While we found out Heavn's fairer ey
And Kis't the Cradle of our KING.
Tell him He rises now, too late
To show us ought worth looking at.

Tell him we now can show Him more
Then He e're show'd to mortall Sight;
Then he Himselfe e're saw before;
Which to be seen needes not His light.
Tell him, Tityrus, where th'hast been
Tell him, Thyrsis, what th'hast seen.

Tityrus. Gloomy night embrac't the Place
Where The Noble Infant lay.
The BABE look't up and shew'd his Face;
In spite of Darknes, it was DAY.
It was THY day, SWEET! and did rise
Not from the EAST, but from thine EYES.

Chorus It was THY day, Sweet

Thyrs. WINTER chidde aloud; and sent
The angry North to wage his warres.
The North forgott his feirce Intent;
And left perfumes in stead of scarres.
By those sweet eyes' persuasive powrs
Where he mean't frost, he scatter'd flowrs.

Chorus By those sweet eyes'

Both. We saw thee in thy baulmy Nest,
Young dawn of our aeternall DAY!
We saw thine eyes break from their EASTE
And chase the trembling shades away.
We saw thee; and we blest the sight
We saw thee by thine own sweet light.

Tity. Poor WORLD (said I.) what wilt thou doe
To entertain this starry STRANGER?
Is this the best thou canst bestow?
A cold, and not too cleanly, manger?
Contend, ye powres of heav'n and earth.
To fitt a bed for this huge birthe.

Cho. Contend ye powers

Thyr. Proud world, said I; cease your contest
And let the MIGHTY BABE alone.
The Phaenix builds the Phaenix' nest.
LOVE'S architecture is his own.
The BABE whose birth embraves this morn,
Made his own bed e're he was born.

Cho. The BABE whose.

Tit. I saw the curl'd drops, soft and slow,
Come hovering o're the place's head;
Offring their whitest sheets of snow
To furnish the fair INFANT'S bed
Forbear, said I; be not too bold.
Your fleece is white But t'is too cold.

Cho. Forbear, sayd I

Thyr. I saw the obsequious SERAPHIMS
Their rosy fleece of fire bestow.
For well they now can spare their wings
Since HEAVN itself lyes here below.
Well done, said I: but are you sure
Your down so warm, will passe for pure?

Cho. Well done sayd I

Tit. No no. your KING'S not yet to seeke
Where to repose his Royall HEAD
See see, how soon his new-bloom'd CHEEK
Twixt's mother's brests is gone to bed.
Sweet choise, said we! no way but so
Not to ly cold, yet sleep in snow.

Cho. Sweet choise, said we.

Both. We saw thee in thy baulmy nest,
Bright dawn of our aeternall Day!
We saw thine eyes break from their EAST
And chase the trembling shades away.
We saw thee: and we blest the sight.
We saw thee, by thine own sweet light.

Cho. We saw thee, &c.

Full Chorus. Wellcome, all WONDERS in one sight!
AEternity shutt in a span.
Sommer in Winter. Day in Night.
Heaven in earth, and GOD in MAN.
Great little one! whose all-embracing birth
Lifts earth to heaven, stoopes heav'n to earth.

WELLCOME. Though nor to gold nor silk.
To more than Caesar's birthright is;
Two sister-seas of Virgin-Milk,
With many a rarely-temper'd kisse
That breathes at once both MAID and MOTHER,
Warmes in the one, cooles in the other.

WELCOME, though not to those gay flyes.
Guilded ith' Beames of earthly kings;
Slippery soules in smiling eyes;
But to poor Shepheards, home-spun things:
Whose Wealth's their flock; whose witt, to be
Well read in their simplicity.

Yet when young April's husband showrs
Shall blesse the fruitfull Maja's bed
We'l bring the First-born of her flowrs
To kisse thy FEET and crown thy HEAD.
To thee, dread Lamb! whose love must keep
The shepheards, more then they the sheep.

TO THEE, meek Majesty! soft KING
Of simple GRACES and sweet LOVES.
Each of us his lamb will bring
Each his pair of sylver Doves;
Till burnt at last in fire of Thy fair eyes,
Our selves become our own best SACRIFICE.





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