Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Three Gifts They Bear Away

The Epiphany
by St. Robert Southwell


To blaze the rising of this glorious sun,
A glittering star appeareth in the East,
Whose sight to pilgrim-toils three sages won
To seek the light they long had in request;
And by this star to nobler star they pass,
Whose arms did their desired sun embrace.

Stall was the sky wherein these planets shined,
And want the cloud that did eclipse their rays;
Yet through this cloud their light did passage find,
And pierced these sages' hearts by secret ways,
Which made them know the Ruler of the skies,
By infant tongue and looks of babish eyes.

Heaven at her light, Earth blusheth at her pride,
And of their pomp these peers ashamed be;
Their crowns, their robes, their train they set aside,
When God's poor cottage, clothes, and crew, they
All glorious things their glory now despise,
Sith God contempt, doth more then glory prize.

Three gifts they bring, three gifts they bear away;
For incense, myrrh and gold, faith, hope and love;
And with their gifts the givers' hearts do stay,
Their mind from Christ no parting can remove;
His humble state, his stall, his poor retinue,
They fancy more than all their rich revenue.

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