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Henry Kirke White (Генри Керк Уайт)

Christmas Day

Yet once more, and once more, awake, my Harp,
From silence and neglect—one lofty strain;
Lofty, yet wilder than the winds of Heaven,
And speaking mysteries more than words can tell,
I ask of thee; for I, with hymnings high,
Would join the dirge of the departing year.

Yet with no wintry garland from the woods,
Wrought of the leafless branch, or ivy sear,
Wreathe I thy tresses, dark December! now;
Me higher quarrel calls, with loudest song,
And fearful joy, to celebrate the day
Of the Redeemer.—Near two thousand suns
Have set their seals upon the rolling lapse
Of generations, since the dayspring first
Beam'd from on high!—Now to the mighty mass
Of that increasing aggregate we add
One unit more. Space in comparison
How small, yet mark'd with how much misery;
Wars, famines, and the fury, Pestilence,
Over the nations hanging her dread scourge;
The oppressed, too, in silent bitterness,
Weeping their sufferance; and the arm of wrong,
Forcing the scanty portion from the weak,
And steeping the lone widow's couch with tears.

So has the year been character'd with woe
In Christian land, and mark'd with wrongs and crimes;
Yet 't was not thus He taught—not thus He lived,
Whose birth we this day celebrate with prayer
And much thanksgiving. He, a man of woes,
Went on the way appointed,—path, though rude,
Yet borne with patience still:—He came to cheer
The broken-hearted, to raise up the sick,
And on the wandering and benighted mind
To pour the light of truth. O task divine!
O more than angel teacher! He had words
To soothe the barking waves, and hush the winds;
And when the soul was toss'd in troubled seas,
Wrapp'd in thick darkness and the howling storm,
He, pointing to the star of peace on high,
Arm'd it with holy fortitude, and bade it smile
At the surrounding wreck.——
When with deep agony his heart was rack'd,
Not for himself the tear-drop dew'd his cheek,
For them He wept, for them to Heaven He pray'd,
His persecutors—"Father, pardon them,
They know not what they do."

Angels of Heaven,
Ye who beheld Him fainting on the cross,
And did him homage, say, may mortal join
The halleluiahs of the risen God?
Will the faint voice and grovelling song be heard
Amid the seraphim in light divine?
Yes, he will deign, the Prince of Peace will deign,
For mercy, to accept the hymn of faith,
Low though it be and humble. Lord of life,
The Christ, the Comforter, thine advent now
Fills my uprising soul.—I mount, I fly
Far o'er the skies, beyond the rolling orbs;
The bonds of flesh dissolve, and earth recedes,
And care, and pain, and sorrow are no more.

Henry Kirke White's other poems:
  1. Lines Supposed to Be Spoken by a Lover at the Grave of His Mistress
  2. The Trent
  3. Canzonet
  4. Lines Written on a Survey of the Heavens in the Morning before Daybreak
  5. Inscription for a Monument to the Memory of Cowper

Poems of another poets with the same name (Стихотворения других поэтов с таким же названием):

  • Christina Rossetti (Кристина Россетти) Christmas Day ("A baby is a harmless thing")
  • John Keble (Джон Кибл) Christmas Day ("What sudden blaze of song")
  • Hartley Coleridge (Хартли Кольридж) Christmas Day ("WAS it a fancy, bred of vagrant guess")
  • Charles Kingsley (Чарльз Кингсли) Christmas Day ("How will it dawn, the coming Christmas Day?") Eversley, 1868

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