Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A HYMN FOR CHRISTMAS DAY (2), by JOHN BYROM



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A HYMN FOR CHRISTMAS DAY (2), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Christians awake, salute the happy morn
Last Line: [or, of angels, and of angel-men, the king.]
Variant Title(s): Christmas Carol
Subject(s): Christmas Carols; Religion; Theology


Christians awake! Salute the happy Morn
Whereon the Saviour of the World was born!
Rise, to adore the Mystery of Love,
Which Hosts of Angels chanted from above;
With them the joyful Tidings first begun
Of God Incarnate, and the Virgin's Son.
Then to the watchful Shepherds it was told,
Who heard th'Angelic Herald's Voice: "Behold!
I bring good tidings of a Saviour's Birth
To you and all the Nations upon Earth;
This Day hath God fulfill'd his promis'd Word;
This Day is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord.
In David's City, Shepherds, ye shall find
The long-foretold Redeemer of Mankind;
Wrapt up in swaddling-clothes, the Babe Divine
Lies in a Manger; this shall be your Sign."
He spake, and straightway the Celestial Choir
In Hymns of Joy, unknown before, conspire;
The Praises of Redeeming Love they sung,
And Heav'ns whole Orb with Hallelujahs rung.
"God's highest Glory" was their Anthem still,
"Peace upon Earth, and mutual Goodwill!"
To Bethlehem straight th'enlighten'd Shepherds ran
To see the wonder God had wrought for Man;
And found with Joseph and the blessed Maid,
Her Son, the Saviour, in a Manger laid.
Amaz'd, the wond'rous Story they proclaim,
The first Apostles of his Infant Fame;
While Mary keeps and ponders in her Heart
The heav'nly Vision which the Swains impart.
They to their Flocks, still praising God, return,
And their glad Hearts within their Bosoms burn.
Let us, like these good Shepherds, then, employ
Our grateful Voices to proclaim the Joy;
Like Mary, let us ponder in our Mind
God's wond'rous love in saving lost Mankind.
Artless and watchful as these favour'd Swains,
While Virgin Meekness in the Heart remains,
Trace we the Babe, who has retriev'd our Loss,
From his poor Manger to His bitter Cross;
Treading His Steps, assisted by His Grace,
Till Man's first heav'nly State again takes Place!
Then, may we hope, th'Angelic Thrones among,
To sing, redeem'd, a glad Triumphal Song.
He That was born upon this joyful Day
Around us all His Glory shall display;
Sav'd by His Love, incessant we shall sing
Eternal praise to Heaven's Almighty King.
[or, Of angels, and of angel-men, the King.]







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