Sunday, December 25, 2011

December Turned to May

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!
Dark and dull night, fly hence away,
And give the honor to this day,
That sees December turned to May.
Why does the chilling winter’s morn
Smile, like a field beset with corn?
Or smell like a meadow newly-shorn,
Thus, on the sudden? Come and see
The cause, why things thus fragrant be:
‘Tis He is born, whose quickening birth
Gives life and luster, public mirth,
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.
The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is, we find a room
To welcome him. The nobler part
Of all the house here, is the heart.
Which we will give him; and bequeath
This holly, and this ivy wreath,
To do him honour, who’s our King,
And Lord of all this revelling.
What sweeter music can we bring,
Than a carol for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King?

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

A most beautiful, merry and blessed Christmas to our readers!


  1. This is one of my favourite favourite favourite favourite Christmas songs of all time. But I'm ashamed to say that even though I studied Herrick's poetry, I didn't even know he wrote this.
    Oh, and God bless the immensely talented John Rutter for composing the sublime music.

  2. Yes, I too love this Christmas song. I have heard it many times, but never knew the title. Thanks for sharing the lyrics. It is helpful to read them as the choir sings.