K:JNWTS 31/2 (December 2016): 15

The Nativity, or Christmas Day

George Herbert

Unfold thy face! unmask thy ray!

Shine forth, bright sun! double the day.

Let no malignant misty fume,

Nor foggy vapor, once presume

To interpose thy perfect sight

This day, which makes us love thy light

For even better, that we could

That blessed object once behold,

Which is both the circumference

And center of all excellence:

Or rather neither, but a treasure

Unconfined without measure;

Whose center and circumference,

Including all pre-eminence

Excluding nothing but defect,

And infinite in each aspect,

Is equally both here and there,

And now, and then, and everywhere,

And always, one, himself, the same,

A being far above a name.

Draw nearer, then, and freely pour

Forth all thy light into that hour,

Which was crowned with his birth,

And made heaven envy earth.

Let not this birth day, clouded be,

By whom thou shinest, and we see.