For my Godchildren
Alternate Title: The Shepherds Had An Angel
Words: Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894), 6 October 1856
Music: F. L. Wiseman and J. C. Bridge
1. The Shepherds had an Angel,
The Wise Men had a star,
But what have I, a little child,
To guide me home from far,
Where glad stars sing together
And singing angels are?
2. Lord Jesus is my Guardian,
So I can nothing lack;
The lambs lie in His bosom
Along life's dangerous track
The wilful lambs that go astray,
He bleeding fetches back.
3. Lord Jesus is my guiding star,
My beacon-light in heaven:
He leads me step by step along
The path of life uneven:
He, true light, leads me to that land
Whose day shall be as seven.
4. Those Shepherds through the lonely night
Sat watching by their sheep,
Until they saw the heavenly host
Who neither tire nor sleep,
All singing 'Glory glory,'
In festival they keep.
5. Christ watches me, His little lamb,
Cares for me day and night,
That I may be His own in heaven:
So angels clad in white
Shall sing their 'Glory glory,'
For my sake in the height.
6. The Wise Men left their country
To journey morn by morn,
With gold and frankincense and myrrh,
Because the Lord was born:
God sent a star to guide them
And sent a dream to warn.
7. My life is like their journey,
Their star is like God's book;
I must be like those good Wise Men
With heavenward heart and look:
But shall I give no gifts to God?
What precious gifts they took!
8. Lord, I will give my love to Thee,
Than gold must costlier,
Sweeter to Thee than frankincense,
More prized than choicest myrrh:
Lord, make me dearer day by day,
Day by day holier;
9. Nearer and dearer day by day;
Till I my voice unite,
And sing my 'Glory glory'
With angels clad in white;
All 'Glory glory' given to Thee
Through all the heavenly height.
The format, capitalization and punctuation of the poem follow that printed in William Michael Rossetti, ed., The Poetical Works Of Christina Georgina Rossetti (London: MacMillan & Co., Ltd., 1904, reprint of 1935, Poem #271, page 187-8.
Other poems set to music: