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Poetry Pleases: The Holy Night

William Ruleman presents a timely translation of “Die Heilige Nacht” By Eduard Mörike (1804-1875)

Blesséd be that Holy Night
He brought to us the world’s true light!

Snug under their starry canopy,
The shepherds lay on the sea-vast lea.

An angel of God, star-bright and clear,
Stepped up to them, and shivering with fear

They cloaked their faces, but he said
“No need to fret, friends. Have no dread.

To you, I say: be not forlorn—
For unto us a Savior is born.”

So then the shepherds hurry on
To see, with their own eyes, the One,

To sing their greetings to their guest,
To bring him a gift (a lamb seems best).

Soon drift in too, drawn from afar,
Three holy kings who’ve followed a star.

They kneel before the sweet little sir
And give him gold, incense, and myrrh.

A legion of angels exclaims from the sky:
“All glory be to God on high!”

--William Ruleman


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