Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.@Luke 2:12
illustration
Adoration of the Shepherds
Gerard van Honthorst (1590–1656)

From a se­quence by Mar­burne, Or­der of St. Ben­e­dict, Ab­bot of Liv­ry, 15th Cen­tu­ry (O ter fe­cun­das, O ter ju­cun­das). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John C. Earle, 1883. Pub­lished in An­nus Sanc­tus, Vol­ume 1, ed­it­ed by Or­by Ship­ley (Lon­don & New York: Burns & Oates, 1884), pag­es 31–32.

York. Me­lo­dy from the Scot­tish Psal­ter, 1615. Har­mo­ny by John Mi­lton (1562–1647) (🔊 pdf nwc).

O night of nights, supreme delights,
Thy watches charm and bless;
And joys of Heav’n, profusely giv’n,
Refresh earth’s wilderness.

The sad, sick world through Eve lies furled
In clouds of death and night;
But God doth rise in human guise
To be its life and light.

Whom angels own as God alone,
Is clothed by mortal hands;
In cattle stall, the Lord of all
Sleeps clasped in swathing bands.

In cradle laid, His voice is stayed,
Who is th’eternal Word:
The sun grows pale, his forces fail;
What means all we have heard?

O shaft of love, to God above
A rock hewn home is giv’n:
Farewell ye stars; hail, crib and bars;
A manger is my heaven.