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Nor all the gods beside
Longer dare abide,

Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine;
Our babe, to show his Godhead true,
Can in his swaddling bands control the

damnèd crew.

So, when the sun in bed,
Curtained with cloudy red,

Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,
The flocking shadows pale
Troop to the infernal jail,
Each fettered ghost slips to his several

grave; And the yellow-skirted fays Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their

moon-loved maze.

But see, the Virgin blest
Hath laid her babe to rest;
Time is our tedious song should here have

ending:
Heaven's youngest-teemèd star
Hath fixed her polished car,
Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp

attending; And all about the courtly stable Bright-harnessed angels sit in order serviceable.

John Milton A MOTHER IN EGYPT

About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill.

Is the noise of grief in the palace over the

river For this silent one at

my

side? There came a hush in the night, and he rose

with his hands a-quiver Like lotus petals adrift on the swing of the

tide. O small cold hands, the day groweth old for

sleeping! O small still feet, rise up, for the hour is

late! Rise up, my son, for I hear them mourning

and weeping In the temple down by the gate!

Hushed is the face that was wont to brighten

with laughter When I sang at the mill; And silence unbroken shall greet the sorDo you not heed, do you not bear?- in the

rowful dawns hereafter,The house shall be still. Voice after voice takes up the burden of wailing

high priest's house by the wall. But mine is the grief, and their sorrow is all

unvailing Will he awake at their call ?

Something I saw of the broad dim wings

half folding The passionless brow. Something I saw of the sword that the shad

owy hands were holding, What matters it now? I held you close, dear face, as I knelt and

harkened To the wind that cried last night like a soul

in sin, When the broad bright stars dropped down

and the soft sky darkened And the presence moved therein.

I have heard men speak in the market-place

of the city, Low-voiced, in a breath, Of a God who is stronger than ours, and

who knows not changing nor pity, Whose anger is death. Nothing I know of the lords of the outland But Amud is gentle and Hathor the mother

races,

is mild, And who would descend from the light of

the Peaceful Places To war on a child ?

a

Yet here he lies, with a scarlet pomegranate

petal Blown down on his cheek. The slow sun sinks to the sand like a shield

of some burnished metal, But he does not speak. I have called, I have sung, but he neither

will hear nor waken; So lightly, so whitely, he lies in the curve

of my arm, Like a feather let fall from the bird the

arrow hath taken, Who could see him, and harm?

“The swallow flies home to her sleep in the

eaves of the altar, And the crane to her nest.” So do we sing o'er the mill, and why, ah,

why should I falter, Since he goes to his rest ? Does he play in their flowers as he played Do the gods smile downward and love him

among these with his mother?

and give him their care? Guard him well, O ye gods, till I come; lest

the wrath of that Other Should reach to him there.

Marjorie L. C. Pickthall

CHRISTMAS CAROL

As Joseph was a-waukin',

He heard an angel sing,
“This night shall be the birthnight

Of Christ our heavenly King.

6 His birth-bed shall be neither

In housen nor in hall,
Nor in the place of paradise,

But in the oxen's stall.

• He neither shall be rocked

In silver nor in gold,
But in the wooden manger

That lieth in the mould.

“ He neither shall be washen

With white wine nor with red,
But with the fair spring water
That on you shall be shed.

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