How cold the night, how still the air
That wraps and chills these empty walls
As cold as stones on hills that wear
Their crowns of blades of grass once fair,
Now shriveled in the winter air
Foreboding winter falls.
Within it’s warm, and safe from harm,
From steel and mail and armored hands;
But those will come: there is no charm
To make the soldiers strong disarm,
To keep the Christ Child from the harm
His God-heart understands.
Oh hear Him now approach! within
The womb of her who rides as He
Will ride the colt—a humble kin,
A noble house and from the sin
Of Solomon preserved, within
The house of David free.
Ring steeple, tower, dome, and spire;
Gaudete! Christ the Lord draws near!
Bid welcome Him who comes with fire
And sword; a Babe born in the mire
And straw mid oxen; born to spire
The heavenly Ghost; now hear!
Hear how I slept; I slept, and yet
He came, He came with loving stealth;
He came my God to pay my debt
For which by Satan we’re beset;
He bears a sword, our sword, and yet
He bears it for Himself.
Audite et plaudite! Gaudete! He is here!
Miraculous conceived, and birth
Miraculous, as told by seer;
A fearful Child, yet not to fear;
Immortal Love, that maketh here
Both heaven new, and earth.