"A Cradle Song" // A Poem for Christmastime

by William Blake

Sweet dreams for a shade,
O'er my lovely infants head.
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams,
By happy silent moony beams

Sweet sleep with soft down,
Weave thy brows an infant crown. 
Sweet sleep Angel mild,
Hover o'er my happy child.

Sweet smiles in the night,
Hover over my delight. 
Sweet smiles Mothers smiles
All the livelong night beguiles.

Sweet moans, dovelike sighs,
Chase not slumber from thy eyes,
Sweet moans, sweeter smiles,
All the dovelike moans beguiles.

Sleep sleep happy child.
All creation slept and smiled.
Sleep sleep, happy sleep,
While o'er thee thy mother weep

Sweet baby in thy face,
Holy image I can trace.
Sweet babe once like these, 
Thy maker lay and wept for me


Wept for me for thee for all,
When he was an infant small.
Thou his image ever see.
Heavenly face that smiles on thee. 

Smiles on thee on me on all,
Who became an infant small,
Infant smiles are his own smiles,
Heaven & earth to peace beguiles.

In this season it is good to slow and stop and hear the words "miracle" and "incarnation" and (sure, go for it) "hypostatic union." It is good at Christmas to mull over the mystery of God in human flesh and why not use all the big words we've got?
But then it is also good to hear the eighteenth-century Blake speak in the simplest words of the most magnificent mystery: God the "maker" has become a crying babe, and "Infant smiles are his own smiles"!