by Henry Vaughn
Awake, glad heart! get up and sing!
It is the birth-day of thy King.
The Sun doth shake
Light from his locks, and all the way
Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.
Awake, awake! hark how th’ wood rings;
Winds whisper, and the busy springs
A concert make;
Man is their high-priest, and should rise
To offer up the sacrifice.
I would I were some bird, or star,
Flutt’ring in woods, or lifted far
Above this inn
And road of sin!
Then either star or bird should be
Shining or singing still to thee.
I would I had in my best part
Fit rooms for thee! or that my heart
Were so clean as
Thy manger was!
But I am all filth, and obscene;
Yet, if thou wilt, thou canst make clean.
Sweet Jesu! will then. Let no more
This leper haunt and soil thy door!
Cure him, ease him,
O release him!
And let once more, by mystic birth,
The Lord of life be born in earth.
A compact poem that startles me in several places -- "Man is their high-priest," "I am all filth, and obscene" "mystic birth". And it startles me to remember that Christ came not only to lie in a manger in human flesh, but to give me His flesh and bread and His blood as drink, that I may abide in Him and He in me. O Wondrous mystery!