On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity – John Milton

On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity: Text.

John Milton-1This beautiful poem describing the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ was penned by the great English poet John Milton (1608-1674) in 1629 (Yes, when he was 21 years old!), and may be found in the wonderful collection of Milton poems in the “John Milton Reading Room” of Dartmouth College (follow the link above).

Belong is the first part of this poem; it is followed by a lengthy hymn, which you are also encouraged to read on this Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning.

On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity
Compos’d 1629

I

This is the Month, and this the happy morn
Wherein the Son of Heav’ns eternal King,
Of wedded Maid, and Virgin Mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For so the holy sages once did sing, 
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.

II

That glorious Form, that Light unsufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of Majesty,
Wherwith he wont at Heav’ns high Councel-Table,
To sit the midst of Trinal Unity,
He laid aside; and here with us to be,
Forsook the Courts of everlasting Day,
And chose with us a darksom House of mortal Clay.

III

Say Heav’nly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein
Afford a present to the Infant God?
Hast thou no vers, no hymn, or solemn strein,
To welcom him to this his new abode,
Now while the Heav’n by the Suns team untrod,
Hath took no print of the approching light,
And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons bright?

IV

See how from far upon the Eastern rode
The Star-led Wisards haste with odours sweet:
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode,
And lay it lowly at his blessed feet;
Have thou the honour first, thy Lord to greet,
And joyn thy voice unto the Angel Quire,
From out his secret Altar toucht with hallow’d fire.

Published in: on December 24, 2014 at 9:23 PM  Leave a Comment  
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