Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
65. The Burning Babe
 
Robert Southwell (1561(?)–1595)
 
 
AS I in hoary winter’s night
  Stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat
  Which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye        5
  To view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright
  Did in the air appear;
Who, scorchèd with excessive heat,
  Such floods of tears did shed,        10
As though His floods should quench His flames,
  Which with His tears were bred:
‘Alas!’ quoth He, ‘but newly born
  In fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts        15
  Or feel my fire but I!
 
‘My faultless breast the furnace is;
  The fuel, wounding thorns;
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke;
  The ashes, shames and scorns;        20
The fuel Justice layeth on,
  And Mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought
  Are men’s defilèd souls:
For which, as now on fire I am        25
  To work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath,
  To wash them in my blood.’
With this He vanish’d out of sight
  And swiftly shrunk away,        30
And straight I callèd unto mind
  That it was Christmas Day.
 

CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors