Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A ROCKING HYMN, by GEORGE WITHER



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A ROCKING HYMN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sweet baby, sleep! What ails my dear?
Last Line: Be still, my babe, sweet baby, sleep.
Subject(s): Christmas; Nativity, The


Sweet baby, sleep; what ails my dear;
What ails my darling thus to cry?
Be still, my child, and lend thine ear,
To hear me sing thy lullaby.
My pretty lamb, forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.

Thou blessed soul, what canst thou fear?
What thing to thee can mischief do?
Thy God is now thy Father dear,
His holy Spouse thy mother too.
Sweet baby, then forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe, sweet baby, sleep.

Though thy conception was in sin,
A sacred bathing thou hast had;
And though thy birth unclean hath been,
A blameless babe thou now art made.
Sweet baby, then forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.

Whilst thus thy lullaby I sing,
For thee great blessings ripening be;
Thine eldest brother is a King,
And hath a kingdom bought for thee.
Sweet baby, then forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe; sweet baby, sleep.

Sweet baby, sleep and nothing fear,
For whosoever thee offends
By thy protector threaten'd are,
And God! and angels are thy friends.
Sweet baby, then forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe, sweet baby, sleep.

When God with us was dwelling here,
In little babes He took delight;
Such innocents as thou, my dear!
Are ever precious in His sight.
Sweet baby, then forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe, sweet baby, sleep.

A little infant once was He,
And strength in weakness then was laid
Upon His virgin mother's knee,
That power to thee might be convey'd.
Sweet baby, then forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe, sweet baby, sleep.

In this thy frailty and thy need,
He friends and helpers doth prepare,
Which thee shall cherish, clothe, and feed;
For of thy weal they tender are.
Sweet baby, then forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe, sweet baby, sleep.

The King of kings when He was born,
Had not so much for outward ease;
By Him such dressings were not worn,
Nor such-like swaddling clothes as these.
Sweet baby, then forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe, sweet baby, sleep.

Within a manger lodged thy Lord!
Where oxen lay, and asses fed;
Warm rooms we do to thee afford,
An easy cradle or a bed.
Sweet baby, then forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe, sweet baby, sleep.

The wants that He did then sustain,
Have purchased wealth, my babe, for thee;
And by His torments and His pain,
Thy rest and ease secured be.
My baby, then forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe, sweet baby, sleep.

Thou hast yet more to perfect this,
A promise and an earnest got,
Of gaining everlasting bliss,
Though thou, my babe, perceiv'st it not;
Sweet baby, then forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe, sweet baby, sleep.





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