Christian Christmas Poetry I Like
THE BURNING BABE
As I in hoary winter's night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, though scorched with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed,
As though his floods should quench his flames, which with his tears were fed.
"Alas", quoth he, "but newly born, in firey heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts, or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men's defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood."
With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas Day.
Robert Southwell (1561-1595)
UPON CHRIST'S NATIVITY
From three dark places Christ came forth this day;
From first His Father's bosom, where He lay,
Concealed till now; then from the typic law,
Where we His manhood but by figures saw;
And lastly from His mother's womb He came
To us, a perfect God and perfect Man.
Now in a manger lies the eternal Word:
The Word He is, yet can no speech afford;
He is the Bread of Life, yet hungry lies;
The Living Fountain, yet for drink He cries;
He cannot help or clothe Himself at need
Who did the lillies clothe and ravens feed;
He is the Light of Lights, yet now doth shroud
His glory with our nature as a cloud.
He came to us a Little One that we
Like little children might in malice be;
Little He is, and wrapped in clouts, lest He
Might strike us dead if clothed with majesty.
Christ had four beds and those not soft nor brave:
The Virgin's womb, the manger, cross and grave.
The angels sing this day, and so will I
That have more reason to be glad than they.
Rowland Watkyns (1610 - 1664)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL POEM
The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright .)
The Christ-child lay on Mary's breast
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)
The Christ-child lay on Mary's heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But hear the world's desire.)
The christ-child stood on Mary's knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874 - 1936)
THE ROAD TO BETHLEHEM
How beautiful the shining faith
O Magi from afar,
Who followed as a shadowy dream
A visionary star!
And lovely as a precious stone
The swift belief of them,
Who, humble sheperds in a field,
Gave love as diadem!
Come, take the road to Bethlehem,
For on a Christmas night,
Illumined by a host of stars,
It's holy way is bright...
As bright as when an amber star
Hung poised above His bed,
And Mary bent in joyous awe
Beside a drowsy head.
The very One the Magi knew,
And knelt before as King,
Will take with joy a questing heart
As richest as offering.
The poorest man may lay the gold
Of worship at His feet;
And love is frankincense, and myrrh
Of sacrifice is sweet.
Here, by the Babe of Bethlehem,
Is comfort for the sad;
World-weary hearts, made old by sin,
Grow young once more, and glad;
And all, both rich and poor, may come
And find a sure release
From cares that fret, and doubts that prey,
Through Him, the Prince of Peace.
O Wonderous Child of Bethlehem
O Man of Majesty!
Who lifted high above the star
The cross of Calvary!
Christ of the lowly manger,
Christ of Gethsemane,
Bless any heart this Christmas night
That takes the road to Thee!
Dorothy Louise Thomas
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