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They saw a glorious light

Burst on their wond'ring sight. Harping in solemn choir, in robes arrayed,

The helmed cherubim,

And sworded seraphim Are seen in glittring ranks, with wings displayed.

Sounds of so sweet a tone,

Before were never known,
But when of old the sons of morning sung,

While God disposed in air

Each constellation fair, And the well balanced world on hinges hung.

“ Hail, hail, auspicious morn!

The Saviour Christ is born," (Such was the immortal seraph's song sublime,)

“ Glory to God in heaven!

To man sweet peace be given, Sweet peace and friendship to the end of time!”

Milton (altered by Dr Gardiner.)

II.

Ou! lovely voices of the sky

Which hymned the Saviour's birth,
Are ye not singing still on high,

Ye that sang, “Peace on earth ?"

To us yet speak the strains,

Wherewith, in time gone by, Ye blessed the Syrian swains,

Oh! voices of the sky.

Oh! clear and shining light, whose beams

That hour heaven's glory shed, Around the palms, and o'er the streams,

And on the shepherds' head ;
Be near, through life and death,

As in that holiest night
Of hope, and joy, and faith :

Oh! clear and shining light.

Oh! star which led to Him, whose love

Brought down man's ransom free, Where art thou ?- 'midst the host above,

May we still gaze on thee?
In heaven thou art not set,

Thy rays earth may not dim;
Send them to guide us yet,
Oh! star which led to Him.

Mrs Hemans. 2*

III.

“ And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” - Luke ii. 16.

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 listen'd to the tale divine,

And closer still the Babe she press'd;
And while she cried, the Babe is mine!

The milk rush'd 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, Didst 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 defild, “ That from the aged Father tears his Child !

A murderous fiend, by fiends ador'd,

“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."

S.T. Coleridge.

“ And lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before

· Matt. ii. 9.

them."

IV.

BRIGHTER than the rising day,

When the sun of glory shines;
Brighter than the diamond's ray,

Sparkling in Golconda's mines;
Beaming through the clouds of wo,

Smiles in mercy's diadem
On the guilty world below,

The Star that rose in Bethlehem.

When our eyes are dimm'd with tears,

This can light them up again,
Sweet as music to our ears,

Faintly warbling o'er the plain.

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