Friday, December 24, 2004

The Huron Carol

Twas in the moon of wintertime
when all the birds had fled,
that mighty Gitchi Manitou
sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim
and wondering hunters heard the hymn.

Within a lodge of broken bark
the tender babe was found;
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
enwrapped his beauty round;
But as the hunter braves drew nigh
the angel song rang loud and high.

The earliest moon of wintertime
is not so round and fair
as was the ring of glory
on the helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before him knelt
with gifts of fox and beaver pelt.

O children of the forest free,
O seed of Manitou,
the holy Child of earth and heaven
is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant boy
who brings you beauty peace and joy.

by Jean de Brebeuf, ca. 1643
trans Jesse Edgar Middleton, 1926

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