Shepherds   

CHRISTMAS.

      ALL after pleasures as I rid one day,
          My horse and I, both tiríd, bodie and minde,
          With full crie of affections, quite astray ;
      I took up in the next inne I could finde.

      There when I came, whom found I but my deare,
          My dearest Lord, expecting till the grief
          Of pleasures brought me to him, readie there
      To be all passengers most sweet relief?

      O Thou, whose glorious, yet contracted light,
          Wrapt in night's mantle, stole into a manger ;
          Since my dark soul and brutish is thy right,
      To Man of all beasts be not thou a stranger :

          Furnish and deck my soul, that thou mayst have
          A better lodging, than a rack, or grave.



      THE shepherds sing ;  and shall I silent be?
                      My God, no hymne for thee?
      My soul ís a shepherd too :  a flock it feeds
                      Of thoughts, and words, and deeds.
      The pasture is thy word ;  the streams, thy grace
                      Enriching all the place.
      Shepherd and flock shall sing, and all my powers
                      Out-sing the day-light houres.
      Then we will chide the sunne for letting night
                      Take up his place and right :

      We sing one common Lord ;  wherefore he should
                      Himself the candle hold.

      I will go searching, till I finde a sunne
                      Shall stay, till we have done ;
      A willing shiner, that shall shine as gladly,
                      As frost-nipt sunnes look sadly.
      Then we will sing, and shine all our own day,
                      And one another pay :
      His beams shall cheer my breast, and both so twine,
      Till evín his beams sing, and my musick shine.



Source:
Herbert, George. The Poetical Works of George Herbert.
New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1857. 101-102.

Engraving designed by John Clayton ; Engraved by Dalziel Brothers.



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