O than the fairest day, thrice fairer night!
Night to blest days in which a sun doth rise
Of which that golden age which clears the skies
Is but a sparkling ray, a shadow-light!
And blessed ye, in silly pastors’ sight,
Mild creatures, in whose warm crib now lies
That heaven-sent youngling, holy-maid-born wight:
Midst, end, beginning of our prophecies!
Blest cottage that hath flowers in winter spread,
Though withered–blessed grass that hath the grace
To deck and be a carpet to that place!
Thus sang, unto the sounds, of oaten reed,
Before the Babe, the shepherds bowed on knees;
And springs ran nectar, honey dropped from trees.