In the Bleak Midwinter: Daily Dose of Poetry and Art

In the Bleak Midwinter: Daily Dose of Poetry and Art

Nativity by James Tissot
Nativity by James Tissot

In the Bleak Midwinter

by Christina Rossetti

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk,
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air –
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give Him –
Give my heart.

The French painter James Tissot is a favorite of mine. I love his beautiful religious paintings, which are based on careful studies he made while visiting the Holy Land. (Click here to read about how I discovered him and the book of his paintings that we own here.

The poet was the sister of the Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Her poem In the Bleak Midwinter has long been one of my favorite Christmas carols.

And music bonus: here’s a video of a performance of the carol by the Gloucester Cathedral Choir.

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1 comment
  • We have been enjoying this one so, so much! Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to expose our little ones to beautiful art and poetry. (As well as to appreciate it myself!) Music I can do; but with this, I do not even know where to start… and I probably would not put the effort into it on my own. I do so appreciate your sharing it!