Verse > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow > Complete Poetical Works
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882).  Complete Poetical Works.  1893.
 
Christus: A Mystery
Part II. The Golden Legend.
III. IV. The Nativity: A Miracle-Play.
IV. The Wise Men of the East
 
The stable of the Inn. The VIRGIN and CHILD. Three Gypsy Kings, GASPAR, MELCHIOR, and BELSHAZZAR, shall come in.

GASPAR.
HAIL to thee, Jesus of Nazareth!
Though in a manger thou draw breath,
Thou art greater than Life and Death,
  Greater than Joy or Woe!
This cross upon the line of life        5
Portendeth struggle, toil, and strife,
And through a region with peril rife
  In darkness shalt thou go!
 
MELCHIOR.
Hail to thee, King of Jerusalem!
Though humbly born in Bethlehem,        10
A sceptre and a diadem
  Await thy brow and hand!
The sceptre is a simple reed,
The crown will make thy temples bleed,
And in thine hour of greatest need,        15
  Abashed thy subjects stand!
 
BELSHAZZAR.
Hail to thee, Christ of Christendom!
O’er all the earth thy kingdom come!
From distant Trebizond to Rome
  Thy name shall men adore!        20
Peace and good-will among all men,
The Virgin has returned again,
Returned the old Saturnian reign
  And Golden Age once more.
 
THE CHILD CHRIST.
Jesus, the Son of God, am I,
        25
Born here to suffer and to die
According to the prophecy,
  That other men may live!
 
THE VIRGIN.
And now these clothes, that wrapped Him, take
And keep them precious, for his sake;        30
Our benediction thus we make,
  Naught else have we to give.
She gives them swaddling-clothes, and they depart.
 
 
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