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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.

John and the Infant Christ

Charles Lamb (1775–1834)

WHILE young John runs to greet

The greater Infant’s feet,

The mother, standing by, with trembling passion

Of devout admiration,

Beholds the engaging mystic play, and pretty adoration;

Nor knows as yet the full event

Of those so low beginnings

From whence we date our winnings,

But wonders at the intent

Of those new rites, and what that strange child worship meant.

But at her side

An angel doth abide,

With such a perfect joy

As no dim doubts alloy,—

An intuition,

A glory, an amenity,

Passing the dark condition

Of blind humanity,

As if he surely knew

All the blest wonders should ensue,

Or he had lately left the upper sphere,

And had read all the sovereign schemes and divine riddles there.