by Robert Herrick (1591 - 1674)

What sweeter music can we bring
Language: English 
What sweeter music can we bring,
Than a carol, for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King?
Awake the voice! Awake the string!
[Heart, ear, and eye, and everything.
Awake! the while the active finger
Runs division with the singer.]1

Dark and dull night, fly hence away,
And give the honor to this day,
That sees December turned to May.
[If we may ask the reason, say
The why, and wherefore all things here
Seem like the springtime of the year?]1

Why does the chilling Winter's morn
Smile, like a field beset with corn?
Or [smell, like to a mead new-shorn]2,
Thus, on the sudden? Come and see
The cause, why things thus fragrant be:
'Tis He is born, whose quick'ning birth
Gives life and luster, public mirth,
To heaven, and the under-earth.

We see Him come, and know Him ours,
Who, with His sunshine, and His showers,
Turns all the patient ground to flowers.
The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is, we find a room
To welcome Him. The nobler part
Of all the house here, is the heart,
Which we will give Him; and bequeath
This holly, and this ivy wreath,
To do Him honor; who's our King,
And Lord of all this reveling.

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1 omitted by Rutter.
2 Rutter: "smell like a mead newly shorn"

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-07-03
Line count: 32
Word count: 212