POETRY: Christ’s Nativity, by Henry Vaughan

Christ's Nativity Henry Vaughan

Awake, glad heart! get up, and sing,
It is the birthday of thy King,
Awake! Awake!
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 consort make;
Awake! Awake!
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 borne in Earth.

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