In the Bleak Midwinter
Words: Christina Rossetti, 1872; she wrote these words in response to a request from the magazine Scribner’s Monthly for a Christmas poem.
Music: Cranham, Gustav T. Holst, 1906 (MIDI, score).
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
I was thinking of this carol today since it FINALLY snowed here in Iowa, and doused us with snow and ice so that we cannot leave our dwellings! Church was cancelled, and so here I sit. "Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow" :)
Verse 2 gives me shivers. Heaven cannot hold our God, and yet a stable could suffice? That was enough for Him?
I cannot give Him starry hosts, or lightning bolts, or snow, or great sea creatures, or mountains, or even rain clouds, but what I can give Him is more important to Him than any of these things! He created me in His image and for some specific purpose! And now, I can give my life back to Him, for His purpose and glory!