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."