Merry Christmas Joyeux Noël Buon Natale
New Prince, New PompBehold a silly tender Babe, in freezing winter night;
In homely manger trembling lies, alas a piteous sight:
The inns are full, no man will yield this little Pilgrim bed,
But forced He is with silly beasts, in crib to shroud His head.
Despise Him not for lying there, first what He is enquire:
An orient pearl is often found, in depth of dirty mire;
Weigh not His crib, His wooden dish, nor beasts that by Him feed:
Weigh not His mother's poor attire, nor Joseph's simple weed.
This stable is a Prince's court, the crib His chair of state:
The beasts are parcel of His pomp, the wooden dish His plate.
The persons in that poor attire, His royal liveries wear,
The Prince Himself is come from heaven, this pomp is prized there.
With joy approach, O Christian wight, do homage to thy King,
And highly prize this humble pomp, which He from heaven doth bring.
Robert Southwell (1561-1595)
The photo is from an amazing pulpit at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Tallinn and the poem from a remarkable collection of Christmas poems by writers of the English Renaissance.
December 25 - 1100: Baldwin of Boulogne is crowned the first King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity.