Thursday, 25 December 2014

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 

To All Readers of 'The Land of Lost Content'

Altarpiece of the Virgin, Jacques Darat, 1433
From the Faint Daysprings Eastern Goal
    Far as the utmost west,
Come, sing we Christ, the Saviour born
    Of Virgin Mother blest:
The Father of the age to come,
    In servant's form array'd,
That man He might for man atone,
    And ransom whom He made.

Within that Mother's spotless frame
     Celestial favour reigns, 
A secret load, she ween'd not of, 
    The maiden pure sustains: 
Her bosom chaste at once becomes 
    The temple of her God,
And she, who knew not man, is made 
    A heavenly Babe's abode.

He comes, He comes, the Virgin-born
     To Gabriel's promise true; 
He whom, as yet unborn, o'erjoy'd 
    The unborn Baptist knew; 
Nor recks He of His bed of hay, 
    Nor He the manger heeds; 
Enough the milky breast for Him,
    Who the young ravens feeds.

A shepherd to the shepherds' fold
     The Lord of all is show'd, 
Celestial choristers rejoice,
    And angels sing to God. 
Now glory, Jesus, be to Thee, 
    Whom a pure Virgin bore, 
With Father, and with Holy Ghost, 
    Henceforth for evermore.

Richard Mant, Ancient Hymns from the Roman Breviary (London: Rivingtons, 1871)

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