This month: fairy tales from ancient Egypt!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

 

The Burning Babe

As I in hoary winter's night

Stood shivering in the snow,

Surprised I was with sudden heat,

Which made my heart to glow;

And lifting up a fearful eye

To view what fire was near,

A pretty babe all burning bright,

Did in the air appear:

Who, scorched with excessive heat,

Such floods of tears did shed,

As though his floods should quench his flames,

Which with his tears were fed:

"Alas!" quoth he, "but newly born,

In fiery heats I fry,

Yet none approach to warm their hearts

Or feel my fire, but I!

My faultless breast the furnace is,

The fuel wounding thorns;

Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke,

The ashes shames and scorns'

The fuel Justice layeth on,

And Mercy blows the coals;

The metal in this furnace wrought

Are men's defiled souls:

For which, as now on fire I am

To work them to their good,

So will I melt into a bath

To wash them in my blood."

With this he vanished out of sight,

And swiftly shrunk away,

And straight I called unto my mind

That it was Christmas Day.

Robert Southwell

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