In the Bleak Midwinter

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In the bleak mid-winter  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 mid-winter Long ago.

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I enjoy photographing nature and little details of God’s creation even on a cold winter day. On this day we had accumulated 9 inches of new snow, and some of our drifts were higher than two feet tall. My boots weren’t tall enough to keep the cold, icy, snow out, but it was well worth the effort in our garden areas to capture these dried flowers still on their stalks, topped with a dollop of snow. The images, plus a mug of hot chocolate, were sweet rewards.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk, And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel Which adore.

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

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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When I found this heart-shaped leaf lying in the snow next to our sidewalk, it reminded me of the stanza, “What can I give Him — Give my heart.”

“In the Bleak Midwinter” is a Christmas carol based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti written before 1872 in response to a request from the magazine Scribner’s Monthly for a Christmas poem. It was published posthumously in Rossetti’s Poetic Works in 1904.

The poem became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Gustav Holst. 

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