Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
I. The Divine Element—(God, Christ, the Holy Spirit)
“O little town of Bethlehem”
Phillips Brooks (1835–1893)
 
O LITTLE town of Bethlehem,
  How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
  The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth        5
  The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
  Are met in thee to-night.
 
For Christ is born of Mary,
  And, gathered all above,        10
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
  Their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
  Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,        15
  And peace to men on earth.
 
How silently, how silently,
  The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
  The blessings of His heaven.        20
No ear may hear His coming,
  But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
  The dear Christ enters in.
 
O holy Child of Bethlehem!        25
  Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
  Be born in us to-day.
We hear the Christmas angels
  The great glad tidings tell;        30
Oh come to us, abide with us,
  Our Lord Emmanuel!
 
 
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