Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
Christmas Carol
CXVIII. Anonymous
 
MY 1 sweet little babie, what meanest thou to cry?
Be still, my blessed babe, though cause thou hast to mourne,
Whose blood most innocent the cruell king hath sworne;
And lo! alas! behold! what slaughter he doth make,
Shedding the blood of infants all, sweet Sauiour, for thy sake.        5
A King is born, they say, which King this king would kill:
Oh! woe, and woefull heauy day, when wretches haue their will!
 
Three kings this King of kings to see are come from farre,
To each unknowen, with offerings great, by guiding of a starre;
As shepherds heard the song, which angels bright did sing,        10
Giving all glory unto God for coming of this King,
Which must be made away—king Herod would him kill;
Oh! woe, and woefull heauy day, when wretches haue their will!
 
Loe! my little babe, be still, lament no more:
From furie thou shalt step aside, helpe haue we still in store:        15
We heauenly warning haue some other soyle to seeke;
From death must fly the Lord of life, as lamb both milde and meeke:
Thus must my babe obey the king that would him kill:
Oh! woe, and woefull heauy day, when wretches haue their will!
 
But thou shalt liue and reigne, as Dauid hath forsay’d,        20
And prophets prophesied      *      *      *
*      *      *      *      *      *
Whom caytiues none can ’traye, whom tyrants none can kill:
Oh! joy and joyfull happy day, when wretches want their will!
 
Note 1. CXVIII. Anonymous.—A Contributor to Byrd’s Collection, which appeared in 1587. [back]
 
 
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