I sing the birth was born tonight

I sing the birth was born tonight. Ben Jonson* (?1573-1637). Published in Underwoods, a collection of his  writings added to his Workes and published in 1640 after his death. It was entitled ‘A Hymne On the Nativitie of my Saviour’.  The first appearance in a modern book was in the Oxford Hymn Book (1908). It shows Jonson’s cleverness, especially in stanza 3 (of 4): The Father’s wisedome will’d it so, The Sonnes obedience knew no No,   Both wills were in one stature; And, as that wisedome hath decreed, The Word was now made Flesh indeed,     And took on him our Nature. Seldom has the significance of the Nativity been presented with such economy and skill. The title of the poem in 1640...

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