Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CHRISTMAS (2), by PHOEBE CARY

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CHRISTMAS (2), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: This happy day, whose risen sun
Last Line: That drew thee to us from the skies!
Subject(s): Christmas; Nativity, The

THIS happy day, whose risen sun
Shall set not through eternity,
This holy day when Christ, the Lord,
Took on Him our humanity,

For little children everywhere
A joyous season still we make;
We bring our precious gifts to them,
Even for the dear child Jesus' sake.

The glory from the manger shed,
Wherein the lowly Saviour lay,
Shines as a halo round the head
Of every human child to-day.

And each unconscious infant sleeps
Intrusted to his guardian care;
Hears his dear name in cradle hymns,
And lisps it in its earliest prayer.

Thou blessed Babe of Bethlehem!
Whose life we love, whose name we laud;
Thou Brother, through whose poverty,
We have become the heirs of God;

Thou sorrowful, yet tempted Man --
Tempted in all things like as we,
Treading with tender, human feet,
The sharp, rough way of Calvary;

We do remember how, by thee,
The sick were healed, the halting led;
How thou didst take the little ones
And pour thy blessings on their head.

We know for what unworthy men
Thou once didst deign to toil and live;
What weak and sinful women thou
Didst love, and pity, and forgive.

And, Lord, if to the sick and poor
We go with generous hearts to-day,
Or in forbidden places seek
For such as wander from the way;

And by our loving words or deeds
Make this a hallowed time to them;
Though we ourselves be found unmeet,
For sin, to touch thy garment's hem;

Wilt thou not, for thy wondrous grace,
And for thy tender charity,
Accept the good we do to these,
As we had done it unto thee?

And for the precious little ones,
Here from their native heaven astray,
Strong in their very helplessness,
To lead us in the better way;

If we shall make thy natal day
A season of delight to these,
A season always crowded full
Of sweet and pleasant memories;

Wilt thou not grant us to forget
Awhile our weight of care and pain,
And in their joys, bring back their joy
Of early innocence again?

O holy Child, about whose bed
The virgin mother softly trod;
Dead once, yet living evermore,
O Son of Mary, and of God!

If any act that we can do,
If any thought of ours is right,
If any prayer we lift to thee,
May find acceptance in thy sight,

Hear us, and give to us, to-day,
In answer to our earnest cries,
Some portion of that sacred love
That drew thee to us from the skies!

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