In the Holy Nativity of our Lord
by Richard Crashaw (1613-1649)
Poor world (said I), what wilt thou do
To entertain this starry Stranger?
Is this the best thou canst bestow?
A cold, and not too cleanly, manger?
Contend, ye powers of heaven and earth
To fit a bed for this huge birth.
Proud world, cease your contest
And let the mighty Babe alone.
The phoenix builds the phoenix' nest,
Love's architecture is his own.
The Babe whose birth embraves this morn,
Made His own bed ere He was born.
(Excerpted, edited and revised by Crawford R. Thoburn)