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A Christmas Faggot   By: (1845-1898)

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A CHRISTMAS FAGGOT

[Illustration: THAT AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW [Cross] TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHERĀ·]

A CHRISTMAS FAGGOT

BY

ALFRED GURNEY, M.A.

VICAR OF S. BARNABAS', PIMLICO

AUTHOR OF 'THE VISION OF THE EUCHARIST AND OTHER POEMS' ETC.

'The Darling of the world is come, And fit it is we finde a roome To welcome Him. The nobler part Of all the house here is the heart, Which we will give Him, and bequeath This hollie and this ivie wreath To do Him honour who's our King, The Lord of all this revelling' HERRICK, A Christmas Carol

LONDON KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, & CO., 1 PATERNOSTER SQUARE 1884

( The rights of translation and of reproduction are reserved )

TO

MY GODCHILDREN

ETHEL, ALBINIA, CYRIL, BASIL, BERTRAM, WILFRID, LOUISE, HELEN, ARTHUR.

When the Angel of the waters With a gold and silver wing Gently stirred the wave baptismal, Heard ye not their carolling Who of old to Eastern shepherds Heralded their King?

To the shepherds of His people Still those angel voices tell How God's river feeds the fountain Opened by Emmanuel, Yielding the baptismal waters Of salvation's well.

Children, you have passed those waters, Love begotten from the dead; Will you make a gallant promise When my verses you have read 'We will trace life's lovely river To the Fountain head'?

LOCH LEVEN: 1884.

PREFACE.

Most of the following poems have appeared in the 'S. Barnabas' Parish Magazine.' For my godchildren and my people I have made them up into a little bundle of sticks a Christmas faggot to feed the fires in the winter palace of our King.

It is the Incarnation that justifies all joy, and song is the expression of joy. The Gospel Songs all celebrate the Great Nativity. Birth and marriage are the occasions most sacred to mirth and music among men; and Christmas is at once the Birthday and the Marriage Festival of Humanity.

Glad and thankful shall I be if any song of mine should help to fan the flame of rejoicing love in any Christian heart at this holy and happy season.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

YULE TIDE 1

THE MADONNA DI SAN SISTO 6

BETHLEHEM GATE 11

SAINT JOSEPH 16

A CRADLE SONG 18

A CRADLED CHILD 23

AN EMPTY CRADLE 26

NEW YEAR'S EVE 28

THE VICTIM 30

THE DAYSMAN 33

THE PHYSICIAN 36

THE POET 40

THREE SISTERS 43

A CHRISTMAS PUZZLE 46

FOUR EPIPHANIES 48

THE CHILDREN'S EUCHARIST 56

THE GOSPEL SONGS:

I. Benedictus 59

II. Magnificat 63

III. Nunc Dimittis 66

NOTES 69

YULE TIDE.

'They bring me sorrow touched with joy, The merry merry bells of Yule.' TENNYSON, In Memoriam .

The Royal Birthday dawns again, A stricken world to bless; And sufferers forget their pain, And mourners their distress.

Love sings to day; her eyes so fair With happy tears are wet; She is too humble to despair, Too faithful to forget.

Her voice is very soft and sweet, Her heart is brave and strong; Her vassal, I would fain repeat Some fragments of her song.

A Birthday song my heart would sing Its rapture to express; My Father's son must be a king, And share His consciousness... Continue reading book >>




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