And They Laid Him In A Manger
Words: Sir Edward Sherburne
Source: A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885)
Happy crib, that wert, alone, To my God, bed, cradle, throne! Whilst thy glorious vileness I View with divine fancy's eye, Sordid filth seems all the cost, State, and splendour, crowns do boast.
See heaven's sacred majesty Humbled beneath poverty; Swaddled up in homely rags, On a bed of straw and flags! He whose hands the heavens displayed, And the world's foundations laid, From the world's almost exiled, Of all ornaments despoiled. Perfumes bathe him not, new-born; Persian mantles not adorn; Nor do the rich roofs look bright With the jasper's orient light.
Where, O royal infant, be The ensigns of thy majesty; Thy Sire's equalizing state; And thy sceptre that rules fate? Where's thy angel-guarded throne, Whence thy laws thou didst make known-- Laws which heaven, earth, hell obeyed? These, ah! these aside he laid; Would the emblem be--of pride By humility outvied?
Note from Bullen:
"Sir Edward Sherburne came of an ancient Lancashire family; he was born in 1616, and is supposed to have died in 1702. He made a translation of Manlius and of some plays of Seneca. When the Civil Wars broke out he sided with the King’s party [Charles I] and lost his fortune. He was knighted by Charles the Second."
If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.