K:JNWTS 28/3 (December 2013): 11

Upon Christís Nativity, or Christmas

From three dark places Christ came forth this day;
From first His Fatherís bosom, where He lay,
Concealed till now; then from the typic law,
Where we His manhood but by figures saw;
And lastly from His motherís womb He came
To us, a perfect God and perfect Man.
     Now in a manger lies the eternal Word:
The Word He is, yet can no speech afford;
He is the Bread of Life, yet hungry lies;
The Living Fountain, yet for drink He cries;
He cannot help or clothe Himself at need
Who did the lilies clothe and ravens feed;
He is the Light of Lights, yet now doth shroud
His glory with our nature as a cloud.
He came to us a Little One, that we
Like little children might in malice be;
Little He is, and wrapped in clouts, lest He
Might strike us dead if clothed with majesty.
     Christ had four beds and those not soft nor brave:
The Virginís womb, the manger, cross, and grave.
The angels sing this day, and so will I
That have more reason to be glad than they.

óRowland Watkyns (ca. 1614-1664)