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Postscript: The First Christmas


Before the paling of the stars,

Before the winter morn,

Before the earliest cockcrow,

Jesus Christ was born:

Born in a stable,

Cradled in a manger,

In the world His hands had made

Born a stranger.


Priest and king lay fast asleep

In Jerusalem,

Young and old lay fast asleep

In crowded Bethlehem;

Saint and Angel, ox and ass,

Kept a watch together

Before the Christmas daybreak

In the winter weather.


Jesus on His mother's breast

In the stable cold,

Spotless Lamb of God was He,

Shepherd of the fold:

Let us kneel with Mary maid,

With Joseph bent and hoary,

With Saint and Angel, ox and ass,

To hail the King of Glory.


-- Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)