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Like circles widening round

Upon a clear blue river,
Orb after orb, the wondrous sound

Is echoed on for ever : Glory to God on high, on earth be peace, “And love towards men of lovek salvation and release.”

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Yet stay, before thou dare

To join that festal throng;
Listen and mark what gentle air

First stirr'd the tide of song; "Tis not, “the Saviour born in David's home, “ To whom for power and health obedient worlds should


Tis not,

" the Christ the Lord :”-
With fix'd adoring look
The choir of Angels caught the word,

Nor yet their silence broke:
But when they heard the sign, where Christ should be,
In sudden light they shone and heavenly harmony.

k I have ventured to adopt the reading of the Vulgate, as being gen nerally known through Pergolesi's beautiful composition, “Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonæ voluntatis.”

Wrapp'd in his swaddling bands,

And in his manger laid,
The hope and glory of all lands

Is come to the world's aid :
No peaceful home upon his cradle smild,
Guests rudely went and came, where slept the royal child.

But where Thou dwellest, Lord,

No other thought should be,
Once duly welcom'd and ador'd,

How should I part with Thee ?
Bethlehem must lose Thee soon, but Thou wilt grace
The single heart to be thy sure abiding-place.

Thee, on the bosom laid

Of a pure virgin mind,
In quiet ever, and in shade,

Shepherd and sage may find;
They, who have bow'd untaught to Nature's sway,
And they, who follow Truth along her star-pav'd way.

The pastoral spirits first

Approach Thee, Babe divine,
For they in lowly thoughts are nurs’d,

Meet for thy lowly shrine: Sooner than they should miss where Thou dost dwell, Angels from Heaven will stoop to guide them to thy cell.

Still, as the day comes round

For Thee to be reveald,
By wakeful shepherds Thou art found,

Abiding in the field.
All through the wintry heaven and chill night air,
In music and in light Thou dawnest on their prayer.


O faint not ye for fear

What though your wandering sheep,
Reckless of what they see and hear,

Lie lost in wilful sleep?
High Heaven in mercy to your sad annoy
Still greets you with glad tidings of immortal joy.

Think on th' eternal home,

The Saviour left for you ;
Think on the Lord most holy, come

To dwell with hearts untrue :
So shall ye tread untir'd his pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.


He, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. Acts vii. 55.

As rays around the source of light
Stream upward ere he glow in sight,
And watching by his future flight

Set the clear heavens on fire ;
So on the King of Martyrs wait
Three chosen bands, in royal state',
And all earth owns, of good and great,

Is gather'd in that choir.

1 Wheatley on the Common Prayer, C. v. sect. iv. 2. “ As there are three kinds of martyrdom, the first both in will and deed, which is the highest; the second in will but not in deed ; the third in deed but not in will ; so the Church commemorates these martyrs in the same order : St. Stephen first, who suffered death both in will and deed ; St. John the Evangelist next, who suffered martyrdom in will but not in deed; the holy Innocents last, who suffered in deed but not in will.”

One presses on, and welcomes death :
One calmly yields his willing breath,
Nor slow, nor hurrying, but in faith

Content to die or live:
And some, the darlings of their Lord,
Play smiling with the flame and sword,
And, ere they speak, to his sure word

Unconscious witness give.

Foremost and nearest to his throne,
By perfect robes of triumph known,
And likest Him in look and tone,

The holy Stephen kneels,
With stedfast gaze, as when the sky
Flew open to his fainting eye,
Which, like a fading lamp, flash'd high,

Seeing what death conceals.

Well might you guess what vision bright
Was present to his raptur'd sight,
Even as reflected streams of light

Their solar source betray-
The glory which our God surrounds,
The Son of Man, th' atoning wounds-

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