Leighton, Kenneth - A Hymn of the Nativity

A Hymne of the Nativity

We saw thee in thy balmy nest, Young dawn of our eternal day;
We saw thine eyes break from the East, and chase the trembling shades away:
We saw thee , and we blest the sight, we saw thee by thine own sweet sight,
I saw th’obsequious seraphim. Their rosy fleece of fire bestow,
For well they now can spare their wings, Since Heaven itself lies here below.
Well done, said I: but are you sure Your down, so warm, will pass for pure?
No, no, you King’s not yet to seek, where to repose his royal head;
See, see how soon his ne-bloom’d cheek ‘Twixt mother’s’ breasts is gone to bed!
Sweet choice, said we; no way. Not to lie cold, yet sleep in snow!
Welcome, to our wond’ring 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 Heav’n, stoops Heaven to earth.
To thee, meek Majesty, soft King of simple graces and sweet loves!
Each of us his lamb will bring, Each his pair of silver doves!
At last, in fire of thy fair eyes,
ourselves become our own best sacrifice!

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