Also published as A Christmas Carol (On The Stroke of Midnight)
Words: Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894), 7 March 1849
See: Christmastide Poems of Christina Rossetti
Source: The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, with a Memoir and Notes by William Michael Rossetti (1904), page 117.
Thank God, thank God, we do believe,
Thank God that this is Christmas Eve.
Even as we kneel upon this day,
Even so, the ancient legends say
Nearly two thousand years ago
The stalled ox knelt, and even so
The ass knelt full of praise, which they
Could not express, while we can pray.
Thank God, thank God, for Christ was born
Ages ago, as on this morn:
In the snow-season undefiled
God came to earth a little Child;
He put His ancient glory by
To live for us, and then to die.
How shall we thank God? How shall we
Thank Him and praise Him worthily?
What will He have Who loved us thus?
What presents will He take from us?
Will He take gold, or precious heap
Of gems? or shall we rather steep
The air with incense, or bring myrrh?
What man will be our messenger
To go to Him and ask His will?
Which having learned we will fulfil
Though He choose all we most prefer: –
What man will be our messenger?
Thank God, thank God, the Man is found,
Sure-footed, knowing well the ground.
He knows the road, for this the way
He travelled once, as on this day.
He is our Messenger beside,
He is our door, and path, and Guide;
He also is our Offering,
He is the gift that we must bring.
Let us kneel down with one accord
And render thanks unto the Lord:
For unto us a Child is born
Upon this happy Christmas morn;
For unto us a Son is given,
Firstborn of God and Heir of Heaven.