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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Time Flies. I. “Lord Babe, if Thou art He”

Christina G. Rossetti (1830–1894)

January 6
(Feast of the Epiphany)

“LORD Babe, if Thou art He

We sought for patiently,

Where is Thy court?

Hither may prophecy and star resort;

Men heed not their report.”—

“Bow down and worship, righteous man:

This Infant of a span

Is He man sought for since the world began.”—

“Then, Lord, accept my gold, too base a thing

For Thee, of all kings King.”

“Lord Babe, despite Thy youth

I hold Thee of a truth

Both Good and Great:

But wherefore dost Thou keep so mean a state,

Low lying desolate?”—

“Bow down and worship, righteous seer:

The Lord our God is here

Approachable, Who bids us all draw near.”—

“Wherefore to Thee I offer frankincense,

Thou Sole Omnipotence.”

“But I have only brought

Myrrh; no wise afterthought

Instructed me

To gather pearls or gems, or choice to see

Coral or ivory.”—

“Not least thine offering proves thee wise:

For myrrh means sacrifice,

And He that lives, this same is He that dies.”—

“Then here is myrrh: alas! yea, woe is me

That myrrh befitteth Thee.”

Myrrh, frankincense and gold:

And lo! from wintry fold

Good will doth bring

A Lamb, the innocent likeness of this King

Whom stars and seraphs sing:

And lo! the bird of love, a Dove

Flutters and cooes above:

And Dove and Lamb and Babe agree in love:—

Come, all mankind, come, all creation, hither,

Come, worship Christ together.