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BEHOLD a silly* tender Babe,

In freezing winter night,
In homely manger trembling lies;

Alas! a piteous sight:
The inns are full, no man will yield

This little Pilgrim bed;
But forced He is with silly beasts,

In crib to shrowd His head.
Despise Him not for lying there,

First what He is inquire :
An orient pearl is often found

In depth of dirty mire.
Weigh not Ilis crib, His wooden dish,

Nor beasts that by Him feed;
Weigh not His mother's poor attire,

Nor Joseph's simple weed.
This stable is a Prince's court,

The crib His chair of State:
The beasts are parcel of His pomp,

The wooden dish His plate.
The persons in that poor attire,

His royal liveries wear,
The Prince himself is come from Heaven,

This pomp is prized there.
With joy approach, O Christian wight,

Do homage to thy King;
And highly praise His humble pomp,

Which He from Heaven doth bring.

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

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

Yet searched, and true they found it.

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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.

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The following Christmas hymn is by Bishop Hall, one of the earliest of our satiric poets, and one of the most celebrated of our old divines. He was contemporary with Shakspeare, Jonson, Spenser, and the other lights of the Elizabethan age. He, however, survived them all, and passing through the troublous times of the Commonwealth, exposed to the persecutions of the Roundhead party, died at Higham, near Norwich, in 1656.



IMMORTAL Babe, who this dear day
Didst change thine Heaven for our clay,
And didst with flesh thy godhead veil,
Eternal Son of God, all hail !

Shine, happy star, ye angels, sing
Glory on high to Heaven's King :
Run, shepherds, leave your nightly watch,
See Heaven come down to Bethlehem's cratch.

Worship, ye sages of the east,
The King of Gods in meanness dressed.
O blessed maid, smile and adore
The God thy womb and arms have bore.
Star, angels, shepherds, and wild sages,
Thou virgin glory of all ages,
Restorèd frame of Heaven and Earth,
Joy in your dear Redeemer's birth!

William Drummond, of Hawthornden, the author of the two following sonnets, will be remembered as the friend of Ben Jonson, who undertook a journey to Scotland on foot, for the purpose of seeing, and conversing with one who was only known to him through the medium of correspondence. This meeting, however, did not tend to enhance their mutual regard; and Drummond left behind him at his death a manuscript account of the interview, which indicated in plain terms his disapprobation of Jonson's want of refinement, both as regards his manners and habits.


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Run Shepherds, run where Bethlem blest appears,

We bring the best of news, be not dismayed,
A Saviour there is born, more old than years,

Amidst Heaven's rolling heights this earth who stayed ;
In a poor cottage inned, a Virgin Maid,

There is He poorly swaddled, in manger laid,
A weakling did Him bear, who all upbears,
To whom too narrow swaddlings are our spheres :
Run, shepherds, run, and solemnize His birth,

This is that night, no—day grown great with bliss,

In which the power of Satan broken is;
In Heaven be glory, peace unto the Earth.

Thus singing through the air the Angels swam,

cope of stars re-echoed the same.

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O THAN the fairest day, thrice fairer night!

Night to best days in which a sun doth rise,

Of which that golden eye, which clears the skies, Is but a sparkling ray, a shadow light : And blessed ye, in silly pastor's sight,

Mild creatures, in whose warm crib now lies That Heaven-sent Youngling, holy Maid-born Wight,

Midst, end, beginning of our prophesies : Blest cottage that hath flowers in winter spread,

Though withered; blessed grass, that hath the grace

To deck, and be a carpet to that place. Thus sang,

unto the sounds of oaten reed, Before the Babe, the Shepherds bowed on knees, And springs ran nectar, honey dropt from trees.

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