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THE SHEPHERDS

WILLIAM DRUMMOND, OF HAWTHORNDEN

O than the fairest day, thrice fairer night!
    Night to blest days in which a sun doth rise
    Of which that golden eye which clears the skies
Is but a sparkling ray, a shadow-light!
And blessed ye, in silly pastor's sight,
    Mild creatures, in whose warm crib now lies
That heaven-sent youngling, holy-maid-born wight.
    Midst, end, beginning of our prophecies!

Blest cottage that hath flowers in winter spread,
    Though withered—blessed grass that hath the grace
    To deck and be a carpet to that place!
Thus sang, unto the sounds of oaten reed,
    Before the Babe, the shepherds bowed on knees;
    And springs ran nectar, honey dropped from trees.