This poem seemed somehow fitting in light of yesterday.
Peace? and to all the world? sure, one
And he the prince of peace, hath none.
He travels to be born, and then
Is born to travel more again.
Poor Galilee! thou can’st not be
The place for his Nativity.
His restless mother’s call’d away,
And not deliver’d till she pay.
A Tax? ’tis so still! we can see
The Church thrive in her misery;
And like her head at Bethlehem, rise
When she oppressed with troubles, lies.
Rise? should all fall, we cannot be
In more extremities than He.
Great Type of passions! come what will,
Thy grief exceeds all copies still.
Thou cam’st from heaven to earth that we
Might go from earth to heaven with thee.
And though thou found’st no welcome here,
Thou did’st provide us mansions there.
A stable was they Court, and when
Men turned to beasts, beasts would be men.
They were thy courtiers, others non;
And their poor manger was thy throne.
No swadling silks they limbs did fold,
Though thou could’st turn thy rays to gold.
No rockers waited on thy birth,
No cradles stirred: nor songs of mirth;
But her chaste lap and sacred breast
Which lodged thee first, did give thee rest.
But stay: what light is that doth stream,
And drop here in a gilded beam?
It is thy Star runs page and brings
Thy tributary eastern kings.
Lord! grant some Light to us, that we
May with them find the way to thee.
Behold what mists eclipse the day:
How dark it is! shed down one ray
To guide us out of this sad night,
And say once more, Let there be Light.
– Henry Vaughan (1656)