But when the Holy Babe was born
In the deep hush of night,
It seemed as if a Sabbath morn
Had come with sacred light.
Child Jesus made the place forlorn
With his own beauty bright.
The manger rough was all his rest;
The cattle, having fed,
Stood silent by, or closer pressed,
And gravely wondered.
(Ah, Lord, if only that my breast
Had cradled Thee instead!)
NEIGHBORS OF THE CHRIST NIGHT
Deep in the shelter of the cave,
The ass with drooping head
Stood weary in the shadow, where
His master's hand had led.
About the manger oxen lay,
Bending a wide-eyed gaze
Upon the little new-born Babe,
Half worship, half amaze.
High in the roof the doves were set,
And cooed there, soft and mild,
Yet not so sweet as, in the hay,
The Mother to her Child.