The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A Christmas Carol

Words: Samuel T. Coleridge
Vocal Recordings:
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Source: Christmas In Art And Song: A Collection of Songs, Carols and Descriptive Poems, Relating To The Festival of Christmas (New York: The Arundel Printing and Publishing Co., 1879).

The shepherds went their hasty way,
And found the lowly stable shed
Where the virgin mother lay:
And now they checked their eager trend,
For, to the Babe that at her bosom clung,
A mother's song the virgin mother sung.

They told her how a glorious light,
Streaming from a heavenly throng,
Around them shone, suspending night!
While, sweeter than a mother's song,
Blest angels heralded the Saviour's birth,
Glory to God on high! And peace on earth.

She listened to the tale divine,
And closer still the Babe she pressed:
And while she cried, The Babe is mine!
The milk rushed faster to her breast:
Joy rose within her, like a summer's morn;
Peace, peace on earth! the Prince of Peace is born.

Thou mother of the Prince of Peace,
Poor, simple, and of low estate,
That strife should vanish, battle cease,
O why should this thy soul elate?
Sweet music's loudest note, the poet's story, --
Didst thou ne'er love to hear of fame and glory?

And is not war a youthful king,
A stately hero clad in mail?
Beneath his footsteps laurels spring;
Him earth's majestic monarchs hail
Their friend, their playmate! and his bold bright eye
Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh.

Tell this in some more courtly scene,
To maids and youths in robes of state!
I am a woman poor and mean,
And, therefore, is my soul elate.
War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled,
That from the aged father tears his child!

A murderous fiend, by fiends adored,
He kills the sire and starves the son;
The husband kills, and from her board
Steals all his widow's toil had won!
Plunders God's world of beauty; rends away
All safety from the night, all comfort from the day.

Then wisely is my soul elate,
That strife should vanish, battle cease.
I'm poor and of a low estate,
The mother of the Prince of Peace.
Joy rises in me, like a summer's morn:
Peace, peace on earth, the Prince of Peace is born.

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