Christmastide

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Our poem this month is one that I knew I would do for December the second I decided to make a poetry post a monthly thing. I absolutely love this poem!

I was surprised to find out how often she’s quoted by people in the Anglican community, but the more I found out about her work, the less surprised I am. Over half her work has devotional themes, be it love of God, sin and forgiveness, or morality. It also doesn’t surprise me that she was deeply religious–her father was an Italian poet and Dante Alighieri scholar.

Christina Rossetti is considered one of the best, if not the best, Victorian-era English poets. I’d never heard of her until I started going to an Episcopal church, when this poem actually made the text for one of the pieces our choir sang for Christmas. I was in the choir at the time, and I fell in love with it. The concept that Jesus is love incarnite is one I think a lot of people forget. This holiday is about love and hope.

Love came down at Christmas,
     Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
     Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
     Love Incarnate, Love Divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
     But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
     Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
     Love for plea and gift and sign.

Christmastide by Christina Rossetti

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