December 14th, 2012

hound of heaven

Today's carol

It is not yet Holy Innocents' Day, but it might as well be. This carol is from The Oxford Book of Carols and describes the children massacred by Herod as guardians and companions of the Christchild on the flight into Egypt. I don't have a userpic that conveys mourning, but perhaps my "Hound of Heaven" userpic featuring the late Sassafras will do.

The Band of Children

Refrain
The stars shall light your journey;
Your mother holds you close and warm;
The donkey's pace shall rock you:
Sleep, baby, dream no harm.

What songs are these,
faint heard and far?
The wind, maybe, in palm trees tall,
Or running stream, or nightbird's call.
The dark lies deep on desert,
Where Joseph walked and Mary rode,
The dark lies deep on desert --
Sleep well, thou child of God: Refrain

What songs are these,
faint heard and far?
'Tis neither wind in palm trees tall,
Nor waterbrook, nor nightbird's call.
It is the voice of children
Where Joseph walked and Mary rode,
The fierce wild beasts are friendly --
Sleep well, thou child of God: Refrain

What forms are these, clear on the dark,
That shine, and yet are flesh and blood,
That laugh and sing along the road?
It is a crowd of children
Where Joseph walked and Mary rode,
A singing crowd of children --
Sleep well, thou child of God: Refrain

Never was seen so strange a guard:
About the footsore travellers they
In lovely circles moved, till day,
Until the baby wakened,
While Joseph trudged and Mary rode!
Such lullaby be all men's.
Sleep well, thou child of God: Refrain