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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.


From the Parisian Breviary

Translated by Isaac Williams

‘A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.’—LUKE II. 32.

FROM princely walls in eastern pomp array’d,

They seek the distant Bethlehem’s lowly shade;

Faith leads the way, and gathers light, and now

Leans upon Hope, which strengthens as they go.

What gladness crown’d their steps, as now to view

The Heavenly messenger appear’d anew!

And o’er the roof, the star, descending mild,

Show’d, in a Mother’s arms, the holy Child!

But yet, no ivory here, no glowing gold,

No purple royalties the Babe enfold;

His palace-hall—a stable’s solitude,

His regal throne—a manger dark and rude!

Others let kingly pomp and power adorn,

His is a better Kingship; on this morn

He, on His poor straw pallet meanly laid,

Hath hearts of men with viewless sceptre sway’d.

Lo, at His humble cradle, on bent knee,

They, in the Child adore the Deity!

And to that Child, us of that Gentile seed,

And to that humble cradle Faith shall lead.

Love is the gold, meet offering for a King,

Myrrh to the Son of Man shall abstinence bring;

And prayers shall be the ascending frankincense,

Which owns our God in veil’d Omnipotence!

Glory to God the Father, Fount of Light,

To Him, who shone upon the Gentiles’ night,

And unto Him, well spring of Charity,

All equal in mysterious Unity.

‘Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with His people.’—ROM. XV. 10.