Behold the father is his daughter’s son,
The bird that built the nest is hatched therein,
The old of years an hour hath not outrun,
Eternal life to live doth now begin,
The Word is dumb, the mirth of heaven doth weep,
Might feeble is, and force doth faintly creep.
O dying souls, behold your living spring;
O dazzled eyes, behold your sun of grace;
Dull ears, attend what word this Word doth bring;
Up, heavy hearts, with joy your joy embrace.
From death, from dark, from deafness, from despairs
This life, this light, this Word, this joy repairs.
Gift better than himself God doth not know;
Gift better than his God no man can see.
This gift doth here the giver given bestow;
Gift to this gift let each receiver be.
God is my gift, himself he freely gave me;
God’s gift am I, and none but God shall have me.
Man altered was by sin from man to beast;
Beast’s food is hay, hay is all mortal flesh.
Now God is flesh and lies in manger pressed
As hay, the brutest sinner to refresh.
O happy field wherein that fodder grew,
Whose taste doth us from beasts to men renew.
A Child My Choice
Let folly praise that fancy loves, I praise and love that Child,
Whose heart no thought, whose tongue no word, whose hand no deed defiled.
I praise Him most, I love Him best, all praise and love are His;
While Him I love, in Him I live, and cannot live amiss.
Love’s sweetest mark, laud’s highest theme, man’s most desired light,
To love Him life, to leave Him death, to live in Him delight.
He mine by gift, I His by debt, thus each to other due.
First friend He was, best friend He is, all times will try Him true.
Though young yet wise, though small yet strong; though man yet God He is;
As wise He knows, as strong He can, as God He loves to bless.
His knowledge rules, His strength defends, His love doth cherish all;
His birth our joy, His life our light, His death our end of thrall.
Alas! He weeps, He sighs, He pants, yet do His angels sing;
Out of His tears, His sighs and throbs, doth bud a joyful spring.
Almighty Babe, whose tender arms can force all foes to fly,
Correct my faults, protect my life, direct me when I die!
The Burning Babe
As I in hoary winter night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised was I with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who scorch-ed with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though His floods should quench His flames with which His tears were fed:
“Alas!” quoth He, “but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!”
“My faultless breast the furnace is; the fuel, wounding thorns;
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke; the ashes, shames and scorns;
The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls:
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath, to wash them in my blood.”
With this He vanished out of sight and swiftly sank away,
And straight I call-ed unto mind that it was Christmas Day.
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