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THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
rT">HE time draws near the birth of Christ:
Four voices of four hamlets round,
Were shut between me and the sound.
Each voice four changes on the wind,
Rise, happy morn! rise, holy morn!
The light that shone when hope was born.
GLOOMY night embraced the place
In spite of darkness it was day.
We saw Thee in Thy balmy nest,
Bright dawn of our eternal day;
And chase the trembling shades away:
Welcome to our wondering sight,
Eternity shut in a span! Summer in winter! day in night!
Heaven in earth! and God in man! Great Little One, whose glorious birth Lifts earth to heaven, stoops heaven to earth.
R. Crashaw ll xxxv
Suggested by a Picture of the Adoration of the
LITTLE pomp or earthly state
Dearest are those Magian Kings
Dear for your own sake, whence are ye?
Dearer for the mystery
That is round you, — on what skies
Gazing, saw you first arise
Through the darkness that clear star
Which has marshalled you so far,
Even unto this strawy tent,
Dancing up the Orient?
Shall we name you kings indeed,
Or is this our idle creed?
Kings of Seba, with the gold
And the incense long foretold?
Would the Gentile world by you
First-fruits pay of tribute due,
Or have Israel's scattered race,
From their unknown hiding-place,
Sent to claim their part and right
In the Child new-born to-night?
But although we may not guess
Thus so soon as far apart