Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
A Christmas Carol
By Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
    WHAT sweeter music can we bring
    Than a carol for to sing
    The birth of this our Heavenly King?
    Awake the voice! awake the string!
    Heart, ear, and eye, and everything        5
    Awake! the while the active finger
    Runs division with the singer.
From the Flourish they came to the Song

1.  Dark and dull night fly hence away!
    And give the honour to this day
    That sees December turn’d to May.        10
2.  If we may ask the reason, say
    The why and wherefore all things here
    Seem like the spring-time of the year.
3.  Why does the chilling winter’s morn
    Smile like a field beset with corn?        15
    Or smell like to a mead new shorn,
    Thus on a sudden?

4.                  Come and see
    The cause why things thus fragrant be:
    ’Tis He is born, whose quickening birth
    Gives life and lustre, public mirth,        20
    To heaven and the under-earth.
    We see Him come, and know Him ours,
    Who with his sunshine and his showers
    Turns all the patient ground to flowers.
1.  The darling of the world is come,        25
    And fit it is we find a room
    To welcome Him.

2.          The nobler part
    Of all the house here is the heart,
    Which we will give Him; and bequeath
    This holly and this ivy wreath        30
    To do Him honour, who’s our King
    And Lord of all this revelling.

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