Robert Southwell

(1561 - 1595 / England)

New Heaven, New War - Poem by Robert Southwell

Come to your heaven, you heavenly choirs,
Earth hath the heaven of your desires;
Remove your dwelling to your God,
A stall is now his best abode;
Sith men their homage do deny,
Come, Angels, all their fault supply.

His chilling cold doth heat require,
Come, Seraphins, in lieu of fire;
This little Ark no cover hath,
Let Cherubs' wings his body swath;
Come, Raphael, this Babe must eat,
Provide our little Tobie meat.

Let Gabriel be now his groom,
That first took up his earthly room;
Let Michael stand in his defence,
Whom love hath link'd to feeble sense;
Let Graces rock when he doth cry,
Let Angels sing his lullaby.

The same you saw in heavenly seat,
Is he that now sucks Mary's teat;
Agonize your King a mortal wight,
His borrowed weed lets not your sight;
Come, kiss the manger where he lies,
That is your bliss above the skies.

This little Babe so few days old,
Is come to rifle Satan's fold;
All hell doth at his presence quake,
Though he himself for cold do shake;
For in this weak, unarmed wise,
The gates of hell he will surprise.

With tears he fights and wins the field,
His naked breast stands for a shield;
His battering shot are babish cries,
His arrows made of weeping eyes,
His martial ensigns cold and need,
And feeble flesh his warrior's steed.

His camp is pitched in a stall,
His bulwark but a broken wall;
The crib his trench, hay stalks his stakes,
Of shepherds he his muster makes;
And thus as sure his foe to wound,
The Angels' trumps alarum sound.

My soul with Christ join thou in fight,
Stick to the tents that he hath dight;
Within his crib is surest ward,
This little Babe will be thy guard;
If thou wilt foil thy foes with joy,
Then flit not from the heavenly boy.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Poem Edited: Tuesday, March 4, 2014


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