The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A Christmas Lullaby

Words: John Addington Symonds, 1840-93

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 297-8

1. Sleep, baby, sleep! The Mother sings:
Heaven's angels kneel and fold their wings.
    Sleep, baby, sleep!

2. With swathes of scented hay thy bed
By Mary's hand at eve was spread.
    Sleep, baby, sleep!

3. At midnight came the shepherds, they
Whom seraphs wakened by the way.
    Sleep, baby, sleep!

4. And three kings from the east afar
Ere dawn came guided by thy star.
    Sleep, baby, sleep!

5. They brought thee gifts of gold and gems,
Pure orient pearls, rich diadems.
    Sleep, baby, sleep!

6. But thou who liest slumbering there,
Art King of kings, earth, ocean, air.
    Sleep, baby, sleep!

7. Sleep, baby, sleep! The shepherds sing:
Through heaven, through earth, hosannas ring.
    Sleep, baby, sleep!

Also found in A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885), pp. 143-4. Bullen notes that "This Christmas Lullaby has not been printed before."

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