by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830 - 1894)

Before the paling of the stars
Language: English 
Before the paling of the stars,
  Before the winter morn,
  Before the earliest cock crow,
  Jesus Christ was born:
    Born in a stable,
  Cradled in a manger,
In the world his hands had made
  Born a stranger.

Priest and king lay fast asleep
  In Jerusalem;
Young and old lay fast asleep
  In crowded Bethlehem;
Saint and angel, ox and ass,
  Kept a watch together
  Before the Christmas daybreak
  In the winter weather.

Jesus on his mother's breast
  In the stable cold,
Spotless lamb of God was he,
  Shepherd of the fold:
Let us kneel with Mary maid,
With Joseph bent and hoary,
With saint and angel, ox and ass,
  To hail the King of Glory.

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


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2010-04-10
Line count: 24
Word count: 115