Twelve Days of Christmas Poetry: V

Two by Christina Rosetti

Love Came Down

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.


In the bleak mid-winter
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 mid-winter
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 mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
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.


  1. Last Sunday at church I heard a female quartet sing In the Bleak Mid-Winter. It was the first time I had ever encountered this poem, and it is lovely.

  2. I have an acoustic guitar version of In the Bleak Midwinter that I keep in my back pocket for holiday get-togethers and such. Really a beautiful poem, hard to get through singing without breaking up a little.

  3. I would love to hear In the Bleak Mid-Winter at church. I will recommend it to our Ward Music Chairman.

  4. Steve Evans says:


  5. Our ward choir sang Gustav Holst’s setting of “In the Bleak Mid-Winter” the first Christmas I was director, at least 10 years ago (it’s the same tune Sissel sings on the current MoTabs Christmas CD). I think we might have done it again subsequently when I was accompanist. Last Sunday a choir member actually told me he wished we would sing it again. I don’t think that will happen soon, because the current director’s tastes are different from mine (think: Larry Beebe. Not that there’s anything wrong with that).

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