But peaceful was the night
Wherein the Prince of Light
His reign of peace upon the earth began.
The winds with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kist,
Whispering new joys to the mild Ocean,—
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmèd wave.
The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fixed in steadfast gaze,
Bending one way their precious influence;
And will not take their flight,
For all the morning light,
Or Lucifer that often warned them thence;
But in their glimmering orbs did glow,
Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.
And, though the shady gloom
Had given day her room,
The sun himself withheld his wonted speed,
And hid his head for shame,
As his inferior flame
The new-enlightened world no more should need:
He saw a greater Sun appear
Than his bright throne or burning axletree could bear.
The Holy Night