In the midst of Advent with Christmas quickly approaching, my thoughts (even in poetry) are turning to the Nativity. Perhaps one of the best poetic descriptions of the blessed event, in the English language anyway, came from the pen of John Donne. He was not only a great English poet but also an Anglican priest who wrote his Holy Sonnets in the early 1600s. Here is his sonnet on the nativity:
Immensitie cloysterd in thy deare wombe,
Now leaves his welbelov’d imprisonment,
There he hath made himselfe to his intent
Weake enough, now into our world to come;
But Oh, for thee, for him, hath th’Inne no roome?
Yet lay him in this stall, and from the Orient,
Starres, and wisemen will travell to prevent
Th’effect of Herods jealous generall doome;
Seest thou, my Soule, with thy faiths eyes, how he
Which fils all place, yet none holds him, doth lye?
Was not his pity towards thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pittied by thee?
Kisse him, and with him into Egypt goe,
With his kinde mother, who partakes thy woe.
We could surely unpack the rich theological truths proclaimed here…but that is best left for another day.