A Christmas Carol
I. The shepherds went their hasty way, And found the lowly stable-shed Where the Virgin-Mother lay: And now they checked their eager tread, For to the Babe, that at her bosom clung, A Mother's song the Virgin-Mother sung. II. They told her how a glorious light, Streaming from a heavenly throng. Around them shone, suspending night! While sweeter than a mother's song, Blest Angels heralded the Savior's birth, Glory to God on high! and Peace on Earth. III. She listened to the tale divine, And closer still the Babe she pressed: And while she cried, the Babe is mine! The milk rushed faster to her breast: Joy rose within her, like a summer's morn; Peace, Peace on Earth! the Prince of Peace is born. IV. Thou Mother of the Prince of Peace, Poor, simple, and of low estate! That strife should vanish, battle cease, O why should this thy soul elate? Sweet Music's loudest note, the Poet's story, Didst thou ne'er love to hear of fame and glory? V. And is not War a youthful king, A stately Hero clad in mail? Beneath his footsteps laurels spring; Him Earth's majestic monarchs hail Their friends, their playmate! and his bold bright eye Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh. VI. Tell this in some more courtly scene, To maids and youths in robes of state! I am a woman poor and mean, And wherefore is my soul elate. War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled, That from the aged father's tears his child! VII. A murderous fiend, by fiends adored, He kills the sire and starves the son; The husband kills, and from her board Steals all his widow's toil had won; Plunders God's world of beauty; rends away All safety from the night, all comfort from the day. VIII. Then wisely is my soul elate, That strife should vanish, battle cease: I'm poor and of low estate, The Mother of the Prince of Peace. Joy rises in me, like a summer's morn: Peace, Peace on Earth! The Prince of Peace is born!
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