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

The Birthday of Jesus

Thomas Toke Lynch (1818–1871)

O LITTLE One who art so great,

To-day there would be weeping skies;

For holy heaven foresees the hate

Against Thee that on earth will rise;

Were not the holy heaven sure

That love will work of hate the cure.

A heart the gladdest and the best

Thou hast, thy Father’s babe and ours;

Smile, little one, in happy rest,

There, wait Thee dark tumultuous hours;

I see them, O, I see them near,

And almost wish Thou wert not here.

I know Thee, Jesus, who Thou art;

But what have we to do with Thee,

That Thou shouldst choose the bitterest part,

And sink Thyself in misery?

Sorrows thy love will steep Thee in,

But sorrows love for Thee will win.

Rest, nurseling, in thine innocence;

King Herod’s dagger cannot slay;

To darker death Thou goest hence,

Toiling along a narrow way,

Which ever leads from bad to worse,

All thorny with an ancient curse.

A curse! O mother, dost thou hear

What must befall thy little son?

Smile, baby, at thy mother’s tear,

The blessing by the curse is won;

Purer than snow will be our gains,

By horror of his crimson stains.