The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Before The Paling Of The Stars

Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894), 26 August 1859

See: Christmastide Poems of Christina Rossetti

Source: "Christmas Carols - Old & New." London: G. G. Harrup & Co., ca. 1918, pp. 51-2.

Before the paling of the stars,
Before the winter morn,
Before the earliest cock crow,
Jesus Christ was born:
Born in a stable,
Cradled in a manger,
In the world his hands had made
Born a stranger.

Priest and king lay fast asleep
In Jerusalem;
Young and old lay fast asleep
In crowded Bethlehem;
Saint and angel, ox and ass,
Kept a watch together
Before the Christmas daybreak
In the winter weather.

Jesus on his mother's breast
In the stable cold,
Spotless lamb of God was he,
Shepherd of the fold:
Let us kneel with Mary maid,
With Joseph bent and hoary,
With saint and angel, ox and ass,
To hail the King of Glory.

Also found in Anne Thaxter Eaton, ed., Welcome Christmas! A Garland Of Poems. New York: The Viking Press, 1955.

Also found in The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, with a Memoir and Notes by William Michael Rossetti (1904), Page 217. Mr. Rossetti noted at page 474: "This was in the Lyra Messianica, 1865, named simply Before the paling of the stars. I retain my sister's own title."

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window

If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.


Related Hymns and Carols