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A Christmas Faggot by Alfred Gurney

A CHRISTMAS FAGGOT

[Illustration: THAT AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW [Cross] TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER.]

A CHRISTMAS FAGGOT

BY

ALFRED GURNEY, M.A.

VICAR OF S. BARNABAS', PIMLICO

AUTHOR OF 'THE VISION OF THE EUCHARIST AND OTHER POEMS' ETC.

'The Darling of the world is come, And fit it is we finde a roome To welcome Him. The nobler part Of all the house here is the heart, Which we will give Him, and bequeath This hollie and this ivie wreath To do Him honour who's our King, The Lord of all this revelling' HERRICK, _A Christmas Carol_

LONDON KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, & CO., 1 PATERNOSTER SQUARE 1884

(_The rights of translation and of reproduction are reserved_)

_TO_

_MY GODCHILDREN_

ETHEL, ALBINIA, CYRIL, BASIL, BERTRAM, WILFRID, LOUISE, HELEN, ARTHUR.

When the Angel of the waters With a gold and silver wing Gently stirred the wave baptismal, Heard ye not their carolling Who of old to Eastern shepherds Heralded their King?

To the shepherds of His people Still those angel-voices tell How God's river feeds the fountain Opened by Emmanuel, Yielding the baptismal waters Of salvation's well.

Children, you have passed those waters, Love-begotten from the dead; Will you make a gallant promise When my verses you have read-- 'We will trace life's lovely river To the Fountain-head'?

LOCH LEVEN: 1884.

PREFACE.

Most of the following poems have appeared in the 'S. Barnabas' Parish Magazine.' For my godchildren and my people I have made them up into a little bundle of sticks--a Christmas faggot to feed the fires in the winter palace of our King.

It is the Incarnation that justifies all joy, and song is the expression of joy. The Gospel Songs all celebrate the Great Nativity. Birth and marriage are the occasions most sacred to mirth and music among men; and Christmas is at once the Birthday and the Marriage Festival of Humanity.

Glad and thankful shall I be if any song of mine should help to fan the flame of rejoicing love in any Christian heart at this holy and happy season.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

YULE TIDE 1

THE MADONNA DI SAN SISTO 6

BETHLEHEM GATE 11

SAINT JOSEPH 16


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