And They Laid Him in a Manger

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?

Sir Edward Sherburne

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