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Featured Poem: The Holy Night by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Written by Lisa Spurgin, 23rd December 2013

It's the last week of Advent with Christmas only a couple of days away, so it's time for our last seasonal Featured Poem.

As the special time is fast upon us, we're rounding off with an image of the traditional Christmas scene as presented by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The nativity has been represented many times in poetry but it's always worth reflecting back on the origins of the season, particularly so close to the day, to find some peace and promise amidst what can sometimes be a difficult occasion.

The Holy Night

We sate among the stalls at Bethlehem;
The dumb kine from their fodder turning them,
Softened their horn'd faces,
To almost human gazes
Toward the newly Born:
The simple shepherds from the star-lit brooks
Brought visionary looks,
As yet in their astonished hearing rung
The strange sweet angel-tongue:
The magi of the East, in sandals worn,
Knelt reverent, sweeping round,
With long pale beards, their gifts upon the ground,
The incense, myrrh, and gold
These baby hands were impotent to hold:
So let all earthlies and celestials wait
Upon thy royal state.
Sleep, sleep, my kingly One!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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