Christmas

      All after pleasures as I rid one day,
My horse and I, both tir’d, 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 ‘s 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 ev’n his beams sing, and my musick shine.

 

- George Herbert

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