The Nativity

 Peace? and to all the world? sure, One
And He the Prince of Peace, hath none.
He travels to be born, and then Is born to travel more again.
Poor Galilee! thou canst not be The place for His nativity.
His restless mother's called away, And not delivered till she pay.
A tax? 'tis so still! we can see The church thrive in her misery; And like her Head at Bethlem, rise When she, oppressed with troubles, lies.
Rise? should all fall, we cannot be In more extremities than He.
Great Type of passions! come what will, Thy grief exceeds all copies still.
Thou cam'st from heaven to earth, that we Might go from earth to heaven with Thee.
And though Thou foundest no welcome here, Thou didst provide us mansions there.
A stable was Thy court, and when Men turned to beasts, beasts would be men.
They were Thy courtiers, others none; And their poor manger was Thy throne.
No swaddling silks Thy limbs did fold, Though Thou couldst turn Thy rays to gold.
No rockers waited on Thy birth, No cradles stirred, nor songs of mirth; But her chaste lap and sacred breast Which lodged Thee first did give Thee rest.
But stay: what light is that doth stream, And drop here in a gilded beam? It is Thy star runs page, and brings Thy tributary Eastern kings.
Lord! grant some light to us, that we May with them find the way to Thee.
Behold what mists eclipse the day: How dark it is! shed down one ray To guide us out of this sad night, And say once more, "Let there be light.

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