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Gloomy Night Embraced the Place

Written by: Richard Crashaw (1610-1648)
Copyright: Public domain

Gloomy night embraced the place
Where the noble infant lay;
The babe looked up and shewed his face,
In spite of darkness it was day!
It was thy day, sweet, and did rise,
Not from the East, but from thine eyes.

Winter child aloud, and sent
The angry North to wage his wars.
The North forgot his fierce intent,
And left perfumes, instead of scars.
By those sweet eyes' persuasive powers
Where he meant frost, he scattered flowers.

We saw thee in thy balmy nest,
Bright Dawn of our eternal day!
We saw thine eyes break from their east
And chase the trembling shades away;
We saw thee, and we blessed the sight,
We saw thee by thine own sweet light.

Welcome, all wonders in one sight,
Eternity shut in a span,
Summer in winter, day in night,
Heaven in earth, and God in man!
Great little one! whose all-embracing birth
Lifts earth to heaven, stoops heaven to earth.

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