Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
The Shepherds
By 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 blessèd ye, in silly pastors’ sight,        5
Wild creatures in whose warm crib now lies
That heaven-sent youngling, holy maid-born wight,
’Midst, end, beginning of our prophecies!
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 dropped from trees.

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