21 December 2010

And Another Favorite Poem

for this time of year.  Pr. Wilken and I were talking about Britten's setting of this the other day:

This Little Babe

This little Babe, so few days old,
Has come rifle Satan's fold.
All hell doth at his presence quake
Tho' he Himself with cold doth 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 looks of weeping eyes
His martial engines Cold and Need
And feeble Flesh his warrior's steed.

His camp is pitched in stall
His bulwark but a broken wall
His crib his trench, haystacks his stakes;
Of shepherds He his muster makes
and thus, as sure his foe to wound,
the angels' trumps alarums sound.

My soul with Christ, join thou in fight,
Stick to the tents that he hath pight,
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 this heavenly Boy.

Robert Southwell (1561-1595)


Anonymous said...

I thought that was familiar! The old Ceremony of Carols! Oh man, it is so much better with just trebles. That piece is incredible. You know, Britten wrote some of the most BEAUTIFUL sacred choral music. Check out his A Boy was Born. I think that is Op. 3 or something. He was quite young when he wrote it. It is acappella with 8 parts in places. VERY difficult but absolutely beautiful.
Peter Sovitzky
P.S. I still love this BLOG. Keep it up, Pastor.

William Weedon said...

Thanks, Peter. And I WILL check that out.

William Weedon said...

Oh, that is mega cool. Just listened. Hey, I'm branching out myself this Christmas. I'm singing TENOR in a quartet for "Lo, How a Rose." I've always sung bass, but I have really enjoyed this piece with singing an inner voice. I think I might have to try that again!!!

tubbs said...

p.s. Southwell was a Jesuit, a cousin of Shakespeare, and a martyr for his religion, during the Genevization of the English church under Elizabeth Tudor.

Brian P Westgate said...

This was in HS69, coupled to a chorale tune. It's too bad it didn't make it into LW or LSB. It would be the perfect processional hymn for Holy Innocents.

Brian P Westgate said...

Apparently this is only the second half of the poem: http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/newheaven.htm