by Robert Southwell (1561? - 1595)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

In freezing winter night
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER
Behold, a silly tender babe in freezing winter night,
In homely manger trembling lies; alas, a piteous sight!

The inns are full, no man will yield this little pilgrim bed.
But forced he is with silly beasts, in crib to shroud his head.

This stable is a Prince's court, this crib his chair of State;
The beasts are parcel of his pomp, this wooden dish his plate.

The persons in that poor attire his royal liveries wear;
The Prince himself is come from Heav'n; this pomp is prizèd there.

With joy approach o Christian wight, do homage to thy King;
And highly praise his humble pomp, which he from Heav'n doth bring.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "In frost’ger Winternacht", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title unknown, copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Tom White

This text was added to the website: 2007-10-01
Line count: 10
Word count: 112

Regardez, un bébé tendre et frêle dans...
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Regardez, un bébé tendre et frêle dans une nuit glaciale d'hiver,
Dans une mangeoire ordinaire est étendu tremblant : hélas, quel triste spectacle !

Les auberges sont pleines, personne ne veut abandonner son lit à ce petit pèlerin.
Ainsi il est forcé de rester avec les humbles bêtes, dans une mangeoire d'ensevelir sa tête.

Cette étable est une cour de prince, cette crèche son trône ;
Les bêtes font partie de sa pompe, ce plat en bois est sa vaisselle.

Les personnes dans ces pauvres habits portent sa livrée royale ;
Le prince lui-même est venu du ciel ; cette pompe est appréciée ici.

Avec joie, approche, ô être chrétien , rends hommage à ton Roi ;
Et loue hautement son humble pompe qu'il apporte du ciel.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "In freezing winter night" = "Dans une nuit glaciale d'hiver"


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2015 by Guy Laffaille, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2015-08-16
Line count: 10
Word count: 127