Behould a sely tender Babe,
In freesing winter nighte,
In homely manger trembling lies;
Alas, a pitious sighte!

The inns are full, no man will yelde
This little pilgrime bedd;
But forc’d He is with sely beastes
In cribb to shroude His headd.

This stable is a Prince’s courte,
The cribb His chaire of State;
The beastes are parcell of His pompe,
The wodden dish His plate.

The persons in that poore attire
His royall liveries weare;
The Prince Himself is come from heaven,
This pompe is prisèd there.

With joy approch, O Christian wighte!
Do homage to thy Kinge;
And highly prise His humble pompe
Which He from heaven doth bringe.

Icon of the Nativity of Christ by Theophanes the Cretan, 1546 Image public domain

Source: Alexander Balloch Grossart, ed., The Complete Poems of Robert Southwell (England: private circulation, 1872), 107.