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O let my soul on Thee repose;
And may sweet sleep mine eyelids close:
Sleep, that shall me more vigVous make
To serve my God when I awake.

If in the night I sleepless lie,
My soul with heavenly thoughts supply;
May no ill dreams disturb my rest,
No powers of darkness me molest.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, angelic host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

Bishop Thomas Ken

II
THE INCARNATE WORD

XXX

THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST

For Thou wert born of woman! Thou didst come,
O Holiest, to this world of sin and gloom,
Not in Thy dread omnipotent array;

And not by thunders strewtt

Was Thy tempestuous road; Nor indignation burn'd before Thee on Thy way.

But Thee, a soft and naked child,

Thy mother undefiled

In the rude manger laid to rest

From off her virgin breast.

The Heavens were not commanded to prepare

A gorgeous canopy of golden air;

Nor stoop'd their lamps th' enthroned fires on high:

A single silent star

Came wand'ring from afar, Gliding uncheck'd and calm along the liquid sky,

The Eastern sages leading on

As at a kingly throne,

To lay their gold and odours sweet

Before Thy infant feet.
D
The earth and ocean were not hush'd to hear
Bright harmony from every starry sphere;
Nor at Thy presence broke the voice of song

From all the cherub choirs

And seraph's burning lyres PourM through the host of Heaven the charmed clouds along.

One angel troop the strain began,

Of all the race of man

By simple shepherds heard alone,

That soft Hosanna tone.

H. H. Milman

XXXI
GOD INCARNATE

The Holy Son of God most high,
For love of Adam's lapsed race,

Quit the sweet pleasure of the sky,
To bring us to that happy place.

His robes of light He laid aside,
Which did His Majesty adorn,

And the frail state of mortal tried,
In human flesh and figure born.

The Son of God thus man became,
That men the son of God might be,

And by their second birth regain
A likeness to His deity.

Henry Moore

XXXII

AN HYMN ON THE NA TIVITY OF
MY SA VIOUR

I sing the birth was born to night,
The Author both of life and light;

The angels so did sound it.
And like the ravish'd shepherds said
Who saw the light, and were afraid,

Yet search'd, and true they found it.

The Son of God, th' Eternal King,
That did us all salvation bring,

And freed the soul from danger;
He whom the whole world could not take,
The Word which heaven and earth did make,

Was now laid in a manger.

The Father's wisdom will'd it so,
The Son's obedience knew no No,

Both wills were in one stature:
And as that wisdom had decreed,
The Word was now made flesh indeed,

And took on Him our nature.

What comfort by Him do we win,
Who made Himself the price of sin,

To make us heirs of glory!
To see this babe all innocence,
A martyr born in our defence:

Can man forget this story?

Ben Jonson

XXXIII

THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
The time draws near the birth of Christ:

The moon is hid ; the night is still;

The Christmas bells from hill to hill
Answer each other in the mist.

Four voices of four hamlets round,
From far and near, on mead and moor,
Swell out and fail, as if a door

Were shut between me and the sound.

Each voice four changes on the wind, That now dilate, and now decrease, Peace and goodwill, goodwill and peace,

Peace and goodwill, to all mankind.

Rise, happy morn ! rise, holy morn!
Draw forth the cheerful day from night:
O Father! touch the east, and light

The light that shone when hope was born.

A. Tennyson

xxxiv
HYMN TO THE NATIVITY

Gloomy night embraced the place

Where the noble Infant lay;
The Babe look'd up and show'd His face—

In spite of darkness it was day.
It was Thy day, sweet, and did rise
Not from the east, but from Thy eyes,

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