by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830 - 1894)

In the bleak mid‑winter
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRI GER
 In the bleak mid-winter
 Frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron,
 Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
 Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
 Long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him,
 Nor earth sustain,
Heaven and earth shall flee away
 When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
 A stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty --
 Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him whom Cherubim
 Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk,
 And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him whom Angels
 Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
 Which adore.

Angels and Archangels
 May have gathered there,
Cherubim and Seraphim
 Thronged the air;
But only His Mother
 In her maiden bliss
Worshiped the Beloved
 With a kiss.

What can I give Him
 Poor as I am? --
If I were a Shepherd
 I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man
 I would do my part,--
Yet what I can I give Him, --
 Give my heart.

M. Trotta sets stanzas 1-2, 5
S. Wilkinson sets stanza 1
B. Britten sets stanza 1

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View text with footnotes
First published in Scribner's Monthly, January 1872

Authorship

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


This text (or a part of it) is used in a work

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRI Frisian (Geart van der Meer) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 40
Word count: 168