John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign;
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part—
Yet what can I give Him,
Give my heart.

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

I'll bet you thought the name of this poem was "In the Bleak Midwinter," didn't you? It came to be known by that name after it was included in 1906 English Hymnal, but it was published as a poem before Gustav Holst set it to music, and according to The Young Oxford Book of Christmas Poems, the original name of the poem was "A Christmas Carol." So there you go.

Tags: advent: 2003, poet's corner
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