Winter of Contentment

Now begins the winter of our contentment

Made glorious by this Son of God;

And all the skies that rent upon our house

In the deep womb of the Virgin buried.

Now are our doors bound with victorious wreaths;

Our once weak arms hung up for celebration;

Our stern criticisms changed to merry greetings,

Our lonely sequesters to delightful gatherings.

Grim-visaged politics hath unscathed this sprinkled forehead;

And now, instead of spewing barbed conversation

To fright the ears of disagreeable adversaries,

He capers nimbly up the Advent wreath

To the lavish pleasing of a law-wearied pulpit.

And I, that am not shaped for unending condemnation,

Nor made to court a stifling mask;

I, that am rudely uncovered, and want love’s Beloved

To shape before a wanton ambling mouth;

I, that am defiant of hindrances of gospel,

Cheated of frowns by genuine nature,

Redeemed, tho unfinished, saved in my time

In this beleaguered world, scarce guilt-ridden,

And that so gotten be unfashionable

As God no longer barks at me;

Why, I, in this weak sniping time of tumult,

Have all delight to wave away the epoch,

Blessed to spy the shadow of the cross

And descant on mine fixed deformity:

And therefore, since I will not be unloved,

To ne’er entertain the dark-traveled days,

I am determined to prove a friend

And love the unending gospel of this season.

Plots have I made, services dangerous,

By sober prophecies, studies and dreams,

To set my brother Christian and the King

In copious love the one towards the other:

And if the Newborn King be as true and just

As I am reckless, loud and boisterous,

This season should Christ closely be followed,

About the prophecy, which says that God’s

Own Incarnation murdered shall be this spring.

Dwell, December, down to my soul: here

Christ comes.

With Apologies to Gloucester (and William)