John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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Advent 2009: Before the Paling of the Stars

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you have a joyous day, whether you celebrate the holiday or not.

Before the Paling of the Stars

Before the paling of the stars,
   Before the winter morn,
Before the earliest cock crow,
   Jesus Christ was born:
   Born in a stable,
   Cradled in a manger,
In the world his hands had made
   Born a stranger.

Priest and king lay fast asleep
   In Jerusalem;
Young and old lay fast asleep
   In crowded Bethlehem;
   Saint and angel, ox and ass,
   Kept a watch together
Before the Christmas daybreak
   In the winter weather.

Jesus on his mother's breast
   In the stable cold,
Spotless lamb of God was he,
   Shepherd of the fold:
   Let us kneel with Mary maid,
   With Joseph bent and hoary,
With saint and angel, ox and ass,
   To hail the King of Glory.

Christina Rossetti (1830–1894)

Previous Advent posts:

2003: A Child My Choice
2004: The Nativity
2005: Merry Christmas
2006: A Cradle Song
2007: Gradual (Initial P with the Nativity)
2008: Selections from Messiah

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Tags: poet's corner
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