The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #12602   Message #100503
Posted By: Wolfgang
29-Jul-99 - 01:19 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: The Burning Babe (Robert Southwell, S.J.)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE BURNING BABE (Robert Southwell, S.J.)
is it this gem? I copied it from



This poem was written by Father Robert Southwell, S.J., in 1594
while awaiting execution in the Tower of London.

As I in hoary Winter's night
Stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat,
Which made my heart to glow;

And lifting up a fearful eye,
To view what fire was near,
A pretty Babe all burning bright
Did in the air appear;

Who, scorched with excessive heart,
Such floods of tears did shed,
As though his floods should quench his flames,
With which his tears were fed;

Alas (quoth he) but newly born,
In fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts,
Or feel my fire, but I;

My faultless breast the furnace is,
The fuel, wounding thorns:
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke,
The ashes, shame and scorn;

The fuel Justice layeth on,
And Mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought
Are men's defiled souls

For which, as now on fire I am
To work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath,
To wash them in my blood.

With this he vanished out of sight,
And swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind,
That it was Christmas Day.