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Child of the stable’s secret birth

Child of the stable’s secret birth,
the Lord by right of the lords of earth,
let angels sing of a King new-born,
the world is weaving a crown of thorn:
a crown of thorn for that infant head
cradled soft in the manger bed.

2. Eyes that shine in the lantern’s ray;
a face so small in its nest of hay,
face of a child who is born to scan
the world he made through the eyes of man:
and from that face in the final day
earth and heaven shall flee away.

3. Voice that rang through the courts on high
contracted now to a wordless cry,
a voice to master the wind and wave,
the human heart and the hungry grave:
the voice of God through the cedar trees
rolling forth as the sound of seas.

4. Infant hands in a mother’s hand,
for none but Mary may understand
whose are the hands and the fingers curled
but his who fashioned and made our world:
and through these hands in the hour of death
nails shall strike to the wood beneath.

5. Child of the stable’s secret birth,
the Father’s gift to a wayward earth,
to drain the cup in a few short years
of all our sorrows, our sins and tears;
ours the prize for the road he trod:
risen with Christ; at peace with God.

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