Sedition·com (mature content)
Poems by Christina G. Rossetti

«·A HOPE CAROL. · A CANDLEMAS DIALOGUE.·»

CHRISTMAS CAROLS.

1.

Whoso hears a chiming for Christmas at the nighest,
  Hears a sound like Angels chanting in their glee,
Hears a sound like palm-boughs waving in the highest,
  Hears a sound like ripple of a crystal sea.

Sweeter than a prayer-bell for a saint in dying,
  Sweeter than a death-bell for a saint at rest,
Music struck in Heaven with earth’s faint replying,
  “Life is good, and death is good, for Christ is Best.”

2.

A holy, heavenly chime
Rings fulness in of time,
And on His Mother’s breast
Our Lord God ever-Blest
Is laid a Babe at rest.

Stoop, Spirits unused to stoop,
Swoop, Angels, flying swoop,
Adoring as you gaze,
Uplifting hymns of praise,—
“Grace to the Full of Grace!”

The cave is cold and strait
To hold the angelic state.
More strait it is, more cold,
To foster and infold
Its Maker one hour old.

Thrilled through with awestruck love,
Meek Angels poised above,
To see their God look down.
“What, is there never a Crown
For Him in swaddled gown?

“How comes He soft and weak
With such a tender cheek,
With such a soft, small hand?—
The very Hand which spann’d
Heaven when its girth was plann’d.

”How comes He with a voice
Which is but baby-noise?—
That Voice which spake with might:
’Let there be light!' and light
Sprang out before our sight.

“What need hath He of flesh
Made flawless now afresh?
What need of human heart?—
Heart that must bleed and smart,
Choosing the better part.

“But see: His gracious smile
Dismisses us a while
To serve Him in His kin.
Haste we, make haste, begin
To fetch His brethren in.”

Like stars they flash and shoot,
The Shepherds they salute.
“Glory to God” they sing;
“Good news of peace we bring,
For Christ is born a King.”

3.

Lo! newborn Jesus,
  Soft and weak and small,
Wrapped in baby’s bands
By His Mother’s hands,
  Lord God of all.

Lord God of Mary,
  Whom His Lips caress
While He rocks to rest
On her milky breast
  In helplessness.

Lord God of shepherds
  Flocking through the cold,
Flocking through the dark
To the only Ark,
  The only Fold.

Lord God of all things,
  Be they near or far,
Be they high or low;
Lord of storm and snow,
  Angel and star.

Lord God of all men,—
  My Lord and my God!
Thou who lovest me,
Keep me close to Thee
  By staff and rod.

Lo! newborn Jesus,
  Loving great and small,
Love’s free Sacrifice,
Opening Arms and Eyes
  To one and all.


«·A HOPE CAROL. · A CANDLEMAS DIALOGUE.·»