Before The Paling Of The Stars

by Christina Rossetti

Before the winter morn,

Before the earliest cock crow,

Jesus Christ was born:

Born in a stable,

Cradled in a manger,

In the world his hands had made

Born a stranger.



Priest and king lay fast asleep

In Jerusalem;

Young and old lay fast asleep

In crowded Bethlehem;

Saint and angel, ox and ass,

Kept a watch together

Before the Christmas daybreak

In the winter weather.



Jesus on his mother's breast

In the stable cold,

Spotless lamb of God was he,

Shepherd of the fold:

Let us kneel with Mary maid,

With Joseph bent and hoary,

With saint and angel, ox and ass,

To hail the King of Glory.