This poem by Christina Rossetti is mostly known as a song, often sung by a choir. You may have heard it on the Netflix shows, Peaky Blinders, and recently, The Crown. The poem is often sung around Christmas, as it has many religious and winter references.
Christina Rossetti, from the esteemed Rossetti family, was born in London in 1830. She rose to poetic fame in the 1850’s, with her most famous work being “Goblin Market”. Rossetti came from a family of writers and painters. Her brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti was famous for his oil paintings and initiating the Pre-Raphaelite movement.
In the spirit of the winter Holidays, enjoy Rossetti’s poem:
“In the Bleak Midwinter”
In the bleak midwinter, 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 midwinter, 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 midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, 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.
Listen to the song below:
Featured image courtesy of BBC