Scripture Verse

She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7–8

Introduction

portrait
Gustav T. Holst
(1874–1934)
© National Portrait Gallery

Words: Chris­ti­na Ros­set­ti, 1872. She wrote these words at the re­quest of Scrib­ner’s Month­ly ma­ga­zine for a Christ­mas po­em.

Music: Cran­ham Gus­tav T. Holst, 1906 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Christina Rossetti
(1830–1894)

Lyrics

In the bleak midwinter,
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign;
In the bleak midwinter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim,
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk,
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Belovèd
Wth a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man,
I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him:
Give my heart.

illustration
Winter in Switzerland
Jasper F. Cropsey (1823–1900)