Monday, December 26, 2016

On the Second Day of Christmas...

...the Zoomlians bring to you: a Christmas poem!

The Burning Babe
As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surpris’d I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty Babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorched with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
“Alas!” quoth he, “but newly born, in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
      So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.”
      With this he vanish’d out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
      And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.

HT: Poetry Foundation

Two things about this poem: firstly, the writer was a priest in England during Elizabethan times who was later martyred for his faith, and secondly, it was set to music and sung by Sting. I'm not sure what's with that since I also heard his version of The Angel Gabriel to Mary Came for the first time ever this Advent.


Sue Elvis said...


One of my favourite Christmas poems! One year, I included this poem in all my Christmas cards. I didn't know it was set to music and sung by Sting. That's interesting!

Sting and Police were part of my teenage/20's years. Andy and I had all their albums. As a family Christmas gift, I bought a family subscription to Spotify and Andy and I have been rediscovering all the old music we used to listen to. (Some of it probably isn't worth rediscovering!) Maybe I'll search out some Police music later today!

Wendy said...

Wonderful! It's interesting, isn't it that Sting seems drawn to some of these ancient prayers and songs. Maybe it's worth looking up some of his newer stuff- although I suppose all of it wouldn't be like that!