The Holy Night We sate among the stalls at Bethlehem; The dumb kine from their fodder turning them, Softened their horned faces To almost human gazes Toward the newly Born: The simple shepherds from the star-lit brooks Brought visionary looks, As yet in their astonied hearing rung The strange sweet angel-tongue: The magi of the East, in sandals worn, Knelt reverent, sweeping round, With long pale beards, their gifts upon the ground, The incense, myrrh, and gold These baby hands were impotent to hold: So let all earthlies and celestials wait Upon thy royal state. Sleep, sleep, my kingly One!
The sweetest lives are those to duty wed, Whose deeds, both great and small Are close-knot strands of an unbroken thread There love ennobles all. The world may sound no trumpets, ring no bells The book of life the shining record tells. Thy love shall chant its own beatitudes After its own life-workings. A child's kiss Set on thy sighing lips shall make thee glad; A poor man served by thee shall make thee rich; A sick man helped by thee shall make thee strong; Thou shalt serve thyself by every sense, Of service which thou renderest.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints-I love thee with the breadth, Smiles, tears, of all my life!-and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.