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Behold a Simple Tender babe

Behold a simple, tender babe

Author: Robert Southwell
Published in 6 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Behold a simple, tender Babe,
In freezing winter night,
In homely manger trembling lies,
Alas! a piteous sight.
The inns are full; no man will yield
This little Pilgrim bed;
But forced is He with senseless beasts
In crib to shroud His head.

2 Despise Him not for lying here,
First what He is inquire;
An orient pearl is often found
In depth of dirty mire.
Weigh not His crib, His wooden dish,
Nor beasts that by Him press
Weigh not His mother’s poor attire,
Nor Joseph’s simple dress.

3 This stable is a Prince’s court,
The crib His chair of state;
The beasts attendants on His pomp,
The wooden dish His plate.
The persons in that poor attire
His royal liveries wear;
The Prince Himself is come from Heav’n,
This pomp is prizèd there.

4 With joy approach, O Christian soul,
Do homage to thy king;
And highly praise His humble pomp,
Which He from Heav’n doth bring.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #8389

Author: Robert Southwell

Southwell, Robert, was b. at Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk, about 1561, educated at Paris and at Rome, and entered the Society of Jesus at Rome, Oct. 17, 1578. He spent part of his noviciate at Tournai in Belgium, but returned to Rome and completed his studies there. After being ordained priest in 1584, he returned to England in 1586. He was arrested in 1592 on the charge of high treason, committed to the Tower of London, formally tried at Westminster, Feb. 21, 1594-5, and executed the next day at Tyburn. His Poetical Works were collected in 1856 by W. B. Turnbull, and re-edited in 1872 more completely and more carefully by Dr. A. B. Grosart, from the Add. manuscript 10422 in the British Museum, from a manuscript, perhaps autograph, at Stonyh… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Behold a simple, tender babe
Title: Behold a Simple Tender babe
Author: Robert Southwell
Source: From 'New Prince, New Pompe'
Copyright: Public Domain



The Cyber Hymnal #8389
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 2 of 2)

An American Christmas Harp #6


The Cyber Hymnal #8389

Include 4 pre-1979 instances
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