Lyricist: Robert Southwell
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Texts and Translations
1 Behold a silly tender babe,
in freezing winter night,
in homely manger trembling lies,
alas a piteous sight.
2 The inns are full, no man will yield
this little Pilgrim bed,
but forced He is with silly beasts
in crib to shroud His head.
3 Despise Him not for lying there,
first what He is enquire:
An orient pearl is often found
in depth of dirty mire.
4 Weigh not His crib, His wooden dish,
nor beasts that by Him feed:
Weigh not His Mother's poor attire,
nor Joseph's simple weed.
5 This stable is a Prince's Court,
the crib His chair of state:
The beasts are parcel of His pomp,
the wooden dish His plate;
6 The persons in that poor attire
His royal liveries wear;
The Prince Himself is come from heaven,
the pomp is prized there.
7 With joy approach, O Christian wight,
do homage to thy King;
and highly praise His humble pomp,
which He from heaven doth bring.