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.