Page:Our American Holidays - Christmas.djvu/79

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51
HYMN ON THE NATIVITY

Unstained with hostile blood;
   The trumpet spake not to the armèd throng;
And kings sat still with awful eye,
As if they surely knew their sovereign lord was by.

But peaceful was the night,
Wherein the Prince of Light
   His reign of peace upon the earth began:
The winds, with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kissed,
   Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmèd wave.

The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fixed in steadfast gaze,
   Bending one way their precious influence;
And will not take their flight,
For all the morning light,
   Or Lucifer had often warned them thence:
But in their glimmering orbs did glow,
Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid
them go.

And, though the shady gloom
Had given day her room,
   The sun himself withheld his wonted speed,
And hid his head for shame,