George Herbert : Christmas

December 24, 2008

(From The Temple. First published in 1633.)

All after pleasures as I rid one day,
My horse and I, both tir’d, bodie and minde,
With full crie of affections, quite astray,
I took up in the next inne I could finde.

There when I came, whom found I but my deare,
My dearest Lord, expecting till the grief
Of pleasure brought me to Him, readie there
To be all passengers’ most sweet relief.

O Thou, whose glorious yet contracted light,
Wrapt in Night’s mantle, stole into a manger,
Since my dark soul and brutish, is Thy right,
To man, of all beasts, be not Thou a stranger:

Furnish and deck my soul, that Thou mayest have
A better lodging than a rack or grave.

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