A Christmas Carol
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.
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 Saviour’s birth,
Glory to God on high! and Peace on Earth.
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.
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,—
Did’st thou ne’er love to hear of Fame and Glory?
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 Friend, their Playmate! and his bold bright eye
Compels the maiden’s love-confessing sigh.
“Tell this in some more courtly scene,
“To maids and youths in robes of state!
“I am a woman poor and mean,
“And therefore is my Soul elate.
“War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled,
“That from the aged Father tears his Child!
“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.
“Then wisely is my soul elate,
“That Strife should vanish, Battle cease:
“I’m poor and of a 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.”
This poem is in the public domain.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a leader of the British Romantic movement, was born on October 21, 1772, in Devonshire, England.
Date Published: 2017-11-30
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/christmas-carol-1