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Another New-year’s Gift: Or, Song For the Circumcision

by Robert Herrick, 1647

1. Hence, hence profane, and none appear
      With anything unhallowed here;
      No jot of leaven must be found
      Conceal’d in this most holy ground.

    2. What is corrupt, or sour’d with sin,
      Leave that without, then enter in;

Chor. But let no Christmas mirth begin
      Before ye purge and circumcise
      Your hearts, and hands, lips, ears, and eyes.

    3. Then, like a perfum’d altar, see
      That all things sweet and clean may be:
      For here’s a Babe that, like a bride,
      Will blush to death if ought be spi’d
      Ill-scenting, or unpurifi’d.

Chor. The room is ‘cens’d: help, help t’ invoke
      Heaven to come down, the while we choke
      The temple with a cloud of smoke.

    4. Come then, and gently touch the birth
      Of Him, who’s Lord of Heaven and Earth:

    5. And softly handle Him; y’ad need,
      Because the pretty Babe does bleed.
      Poor pitied Child! who from Thy stall
      Bring’st, in Thy blood, a balm that shall
      Be the best New–Year’s gift to all.

    1. Let’s bless the Babe: and, as we sing
      His praise, so let us bless the King.

Chor. Long may He live till He hath told
      His New–Years trebled to His old:
      And when that’s done, to reaspire
A new-born Phœnix from His own chaste fire.

Published in Noble Numbers

Any corrections or public domain poems I should have here? Email me at poems (at) this domain.