‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ – Christina Rossetti (1872)

December 13, 2009 § Leave a comment

This and other poems have always drawn me into the season. They come from the hearts of artists who have been gifted to offer fresh glances at life and faith. This one from Christina Rossetti, a 19th Century Christ-follower and writer who was born and died in the month of December. She lived a reclusive life, yet one filled with devotion to Christ as she wrote children’s and devotional books. She was an opponent of slavery, and for ten years volunteered in a home for prostitutes. This well-known poem came to mind and heart with our most recent snowfall (as viewed outside our front door). peace.

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

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