52 SONGS

...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Countee Cullen

Christus Natus Est

In Bethlehem
On Christmas Morn
The lowly gem
Of love was born
Hosannah! Christus natus est.

Bright in her crown
Of fiery star
Judea's town
Shone from afar:
Hosannah! Christus natus est.

While beasts in stall,
On bended knee,
Did carol all
Most joyously:
Hosannah! Christus natus est.  

For bird and beast
He did not come,
But for the least
Of mortal scum.
Hosannah! Christus natus est. 

Who lies in ditch?
Who begs his bread?
Who has no stitch
For back or head?
Hosannah! Christus natus est. 

Who wakes to weep,
Lies down to mourn?
Who in his sleep
Withdraws from scorn?
Hosannah! Christus natus est. 

Ye outraged dust,
On field and plain,
To feed the lust
Of madmen slain:
Hosannah! Christus natus est.

The manger still
Outshines the throne;
Christ must and will
Come to his own.
Hosannah! Christus natus est.

- On These I Stand [1947]

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