Sarah Brightman (Сара Брайтман) In The Bleak Midwinter

Текст песни

"In the Bleak Midwinter" is a Christmas carol.

Although the lyrics were written as a poem by English poet Christina Rossetti before 1872, it was published posthumously in Rossetti's Poetic Works in 1904 and became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Holst.

According to the website CyberHymnal, Rossetti wrote these words in response to a request from the magazine Scribner's Monthly for a Christmas poem.

In 2008 Harold Darke's setting was named the best Christmas carol in a poll of some of the world's leading choirmasters and choral experts.

In verse one, Rossetti describes the physical characteristics of the Incarnation.

In the bleak midwinter
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 midwinter,
Long ago.

In verse two, Rossetti contrasts Christ's first and second coming

Our God, heaven cannot hold him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign;
In the bleak midwinter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God incarnate,
Jesus Christ.

The third verse dwells on Christ's birth and describes the simple surroundings, in a humble stable and watched by beasts of burden.

Enough for him, whom Cherubim
Worship night and day
A breast full of milk
And a manger full of hay.
Enough for him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
which adore.

Rossetti achieves another contrast in the fourth verse, this time between the incorporeal angels attendant at Christ's birth with Mary's ability to render Jesus physical affection. This verse is omitted in the Harold Darke setting.

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

The final verse may be the most well known and loved. Here, Darke repeats the last line in his setting.

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.

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