1 Cold was the day when in a garden bare
Walked the Child Jesus wrapt in holy thought;
His brow seemed clouded with a weight of care
Calmness and rest from worldly things he sought.
2 Soon was His presence missed within His home
His Mother gentle marked His every way:
Forth then she came to seek where He did roam,
Full of sweet words His trouble to allay.
3 Through chilling snow she toiled to reach His side,
Forcing her way 'mid branches black and sere;
Hastening, that she His sorrow might divide,
Share all His woe, or calm His gloomy fear.
4 "Speak, gentle Lord;" she cried with reverent love,
"Tell me, I pray, what griefs around Thee press,
Though I of earth, and Thou from Heaven above
I am Thy Mother: what doth Thee distress ?"
5 Sweet was her face as o'er His head she bent;
Longing to melt His look of saddest grief,
With lifted eyes His ear to her He lent;
Her kindly solace brought His soul relief.
6 Then did He smile, a smile of love so deep,
Winter himself grew warm beneath its glow,
From drooping branches scented blossoms peep,
Up springs the grass, the sealed fountains flow.
7 Summer and spring did each with other vie,
Offering to Him the fragrance of their store;
Chanting sweet notes the birds around Him fly,
Wondering why earth had chequered so her floor.
8 Then round His Mother lilies white entwined,
Fresh as her love, and chaste as she was pure;
About His head the Passion-flowers did bind,
Type of the sufferings He must soon endure.
9 Hid in the wreath was many a cruel thorn;
Yet on His brow lie placed it, full of joy:
Full well He knew why He on earth was born,
How by His Blood He should our woes destroy.
10 Know then, dear brother, in these Christmas hours,
Sorrow, like snow, will melt if He but smile;
And if He clothe thy wintry path with flowers,
Amidst thy mirth, think on His thorns awhile.Source: Christmas Carols New and Old: Series 1 and 2 #42