Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Christmas Poem

Christina Rossetti was a poet in Victorian England. Her brother was also a poet and painter in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. While Dante Gabriel's subject matter was mostly myth or legend, Christina's was Christian. One of her most famous poems is "In the Bleak Mid-Winter," which was later set to music and is now a carol. I loved singing it as part of a choir a few years ago. The Paul Coleman Trio has recorded a contemporary version which has introduced it to a larger modern audience.

The painting is taken from Dante Gabriel Rossetti's "The Seed of David."

"In the Bleak Mid-Winter" - Christina Rossetti (1872)

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.


patti said...

y r u so smart? And lovely...thank you for that!

Leslie said...

You and K are the sweetest friends ever! Thank you so much for thinking of us and blessing us in this way. I love you! Merry Christmas!