Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Asia
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII.  1876–79.
 
Syria: Bethlehem
The Shepherds’ Song
William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585–1649)
 
O THAN the fairest day, thrice fairer night!
Night to best days in which a sun doth rise,
Of which that golden eye, which clears the skies,
Is but a sparkling ray, a shadow light:
And blessed ye, in silly pastor’s sight,        5
Mild creatures, in whose warm crib now lies
That heaven-sent Youngling, holy maid-born Wight,
Midst, end, beginning of our prophesies:
Blest cottage that hath flowers in winter spread,
Though withered; blessed grass, that hath the grace        10
To deck, and be a carpet to that place.
Thus sang, unto the sounds of oaten reed,
Before the Babe, the shepherds bowed on knees,
And springs ran nectar, honey dropt from trees.
 
 
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