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AN ODE OF THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOUR

 In numbers, and but these few,
I sing thy birth, oh JESU!
Thou pretty Baby, born here,
With sup'rabundant scorn here;
Who for thy princely port here,
Hadst for thy place
Of birth, a base
Out-stable for thy court here.
Instead of neat enclosures Of interwoven osiers; Instead of fragrant posies Of daffadils and roses, Thy cradle, kingly stranger, As gospel tells, Was nothing else, But, here, a homely manger.
But we with silks, not cruels, With sundry precious jewels, And lily-work will dress thee; And as we dispossess thee Of clo}ts, we'll make a chamber, Sweet babe, for thee, Of ivory, And plaster'd round with amber.
The Jews, they did disdain thee; But we will entertain thee With glories to await here, Upon thy princely state here, And more for love than pity: From year to year We'll make thee, here, A free-born of our city.

Poem by Robert Herrick
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