Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day has come; (the Wexford Carol)

Christmas Day has come; let’s prepare for mirth,
Which fills the heavens and earth at the amazing birth.
Through both the joyous angels in strife and hurry fly,
With glory and hosannas ‘All Holy’ do they cry,
In heaven the Church triumphant adores with all her choirs,
The militant on earth with humble faith admires.

But why should we rejoice? Should we not rather morn
To see the Hope of Nations thus in a stable born?
Where are His crown and scepter, where is His throne sublime,
Where is his train majestic that should the stars outshine?
Is there no sumptuous palace, nor any inn at all
To lodge his heavenly mother but in a filthy stall?

Oh! Cease, ye blessed angels, such clamorous joys to make!
Though midnight silence favors, the shepherds are awake;
And you, O glorious star! That with new splendor brings,
From the remotest parts three learned eastern kings,
Turn somewhere else your luster, your rays elsewhere display,
For Herod he may slay the babe, and Christ must straight away.

If we would then rejoice, let’s cancel the old score,
And purposing amendment, resolve to sin no more –
For mirth can ne’er content us, without a conscience clear;
And thus we’ll find true pleasure in all the usual cheer,
In dancing, sporting, reveling, with masquerade and drum,
So let our Christmas merry be, as Christmas doth become.

Bishop Luke Wadding OFM (1585/88-1657)

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