The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

On The Infancy Of Our Saviour

Words: Francis Quarles (1592-1644), Divine Fancies

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 283-4.

Hail, blessed virgin, full of heavenly grace,
Blest above all that sprang from human race;
Whose heav'n-saluted womb brought forth in one,
A blessed Saviour and a blessed Son:

O! what a ravishment 't had been to see
Thy little Saviour perking on thy knee!
To see Him nuzzle in thy virgin breast
His milk-white body all unclad, all undressed!

To see thy busy fingers clothe and wrap
His spraddling limbs in thy indulgent lap!
To see His desperate eyes, with childish grace
Smiling upon His smiling mother's face!

And when His forward strength began to bloom,
To see Him diddle up and down the room!
O, who would think so sweet a Babe as this,
Should e'er be slain by a false-hearted kiss!

Had I a rag, if sure Thy body wore it,
Pardon, sweet Babe, I think I should adore it.
Till then, O grant this boon (a boon far dearer),
The weed not being, I may adore the wearer.

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