What sweeter music can we bring
Than a carol for to sing
The birth of this our Heavenly King?
Awake the voice! Awake the string!
Dark and dull night fly hence away!
And give the honour to this day
That sees December turn’d to May.
Why does the chilling winter’s morn
Smile like a field beset with corn?
Or smell like a meadow newly shorn,
Thus on a sudden? Come and see
The cause why things thus fragrant be:
’Tis He is born, whose quickening birth
Gives life and lustre, public mirth,
To heaven and the under-earth.
We see Him come, and know Him ours,
Who with his sunshine and his showers
Turns all the patient ground to flowers.
The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is we find a room
To welcome Him.
The nobler part
Of all the house here is the heart,
Which we will give Him; and bequeath
This holly and this ivy wreath
To do Him honour, who’s our King
And Lord of all this revelling.
— Robert Herrick (1591-1674)