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TO THE BABE OF BETHLEHEM. “OH MARY, CONCEIVED WITHOUT BIN, PRAY FOR US WHO HAVE RECOURSE TO THEE."

Little BABE OF BETHLEHEM, HAIL!
Welcome to this lowly vale!
Gently folded and caress'd,
Welcome to thy Mother's breast,
Welcome to the Virgin Spouse,
Of that Virgin Mother's vows,-
Welcome to the eastern sage,
And the simple shepherd's age;
Welcome to the old man's heart,
Who may now in peace depart,
Since his long-expected Lord
He hath seen, and bath adored!
Welcome to that prophetess,
Thou didst by thy presence bless;
To the martyred innocents,
'Mid their mothers' wild laments,
Who, to save their Saviour, died,
Blood-baptised by Herod's pride.

Welcome to thy new-born bride,–
Holy Church which thou wilt guide,
Ever without spot or stain ;
And which purchased by thy pain,
Seeks to give for price so dear,
Blood for blood, and tear for tear,-
Gifts that only are not dead,
By the blood which thou hast shed.
Welcome to all children found,
In that Church's hallowed ground,
To the men whom tongues of fire,
With the Holy Ghost inspire,
Wandering over land and sea,
Calling all to worship thee.
Welcome to the virgin band,
Chosen lilies of thy land,
Those who sing to thee a song,
Never heard on other tongue,
Those whose happy right 's to be,
Ever, ever, following thee.
First fruits thou hast gladly given
Of thy glorious death to Heaven !

Welcome to the martyred crowd,
Who to tortures gladly bowed,
And who conquering gloriously,
Found in death their victory;
To the anchorites, whose feet,
Sought the desert's far retreat,
Shunning every worldly care,
As they would shun Satan's snare,
Trusting for their daily need
Thou, who dost the sparrows feed;
Daily to their passions dying,
Daily at the cross' foot sighing,
Learning as their legends tell
How to die by living well.
Welcome to the spirits meek,
Who in cloisters shelter seek
From a world, whose softest tone
Discord hath for them alone,
And who turn them wearily
From its smiles to weep with thee.
Welcome to the learned sages
Who upheld thy Church of ages,
And who still with pious lore
Prove her spotless as before.
To all spirits pure and bright
In thy love-reflected light,
And who hold thee in the heart,
Sweetest Babe, thou welcome art!

Welcome! (tho' not welcomed so)
To all sin uers in their woe,
Thus in humbler tones we say
Weeping sadly while we pray ;
For our sins are round us now,
Even while our heads we bow
To the manger and the straw,
Where the angels gazed with awe.
And we are not like the few
Who thy first sweet presence knew,
Not like her who at thy feet
Refuge found and pardon sweet,
Not like those who gladly bled
For the blood which thou didst shed,
Not like those who for thee sighed
In the desert till they died,

And whose hearts within them burned
While from earth they sadly turned,
Mourning like the turtle dove
In the absence of its love.

In our sorrow and our shame,
We no place with these can claim;
We have sought in thee no treasure,
We have found in thee no pleasure.
But in folly and in madness
We have drank of sin and sadness.
Yet while matchless love we see
Clothed in helpless infancy,
God alike of strong and frail,
Venture we to bid Thee, Hail!

Little BABE, we humbly pray
We may not unworthy stay
At Thy holy shrine to-day.
We would ask Thee, did we dare,
In the midst of woe and care,
So to feel as Mary felt
O’er Thee, when her heart did melt,
In that awful, strange revering,
With the mother's love endearing.
We would ask the virtues bright
Made Thee in her spouse delight;
We would ask the faith sublime
Of those kings of olden time;
And the happy humbleness
That the shepherds' souls did bless.
But, alas! we sinners are,
Nor to ask such things we dare;
Only venture we to crave
That in mercy Thou wouldst save,
And that we may linger near
To thy Virgin Mother dear,
And in sad sweet tears may stay
At thy manger all the day ;
Sins and sorrows to deplore,
Promising to sin no more,
And to say with soul sincere,

BABE OF BETHLEHEM, WELCOME HERE !
Feast of St. Winefride, V.M.

M. C. A.

END OF VOL. II.

INDEX TO VOL. II.

ANGELUS, The, 107
Anglican Self-Delusions, 110
Aquinas, Rhythm to the Holy Eucharist of St. Thomas, 125
Africa, Moffat's Southern, 86, 135
An Anglican Protest, 198
Agnes, St., 248
Angels, Song of the, 258
Annals of the Propagation of the Faith, 268
Bethlehem, To the Babe of, 350
Catholic Institute, Annual Meeting of the, 57
Church of England, and Crimes of, 1; Note to the same, 207
Church Music, 60
Church, Nave of the, Chapter IV. 129; Chapter V. 280; Chapter VI. 337
Crudities of National Character, 181
Catholic Religion in France, 232
Catholic Spirit of Shakespeare, 251
Catholic Parish Priest, The, 260
Crucifixion, On the, 279
Diary, Extracts from an Unpublished, 213
Dante, Fragments from, 265
Delusions, Anglican Self, 110
England, Church and Crimes of, 1; Note to the same, 207
Elizabeth of Hungary, Life of St., 38, 303
Fasts and Festivals of the Catholic Church, The, 327
Fragments from the Holy Fathers of the Eastern Church, 49, 65
Free Kirk and Erastian Kirk, 62
Feast of the Transfiguration, 105

St. Michael the Archangel, Hymn at Lauds, 160
All Saints, 211

the Most Holy Trinity, 215, 287
Florentinus, Life of Dom, 175, 274
France, Catholic Religion in, 232

Fragments from the “Inferno” of Dante, 265
Génévieve, Life of St., 216
Garden, The Enclosed, 288, 323
Golden Treatise of Mental Prayer, Notice of, 294
Hymn, The Matin, 206
Hymn, Lucis Creator Optime, 287
Holy Readings, Notice of, 294
Institute, Annual Meeting of the Catholic, 57
Kirk, The Free and Erastian, 62
Lady, To our Blessed, 347
Life of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, 38, 303
Legal Sketches, No. 1-Joining Circuit, 71

No. 2—The Old Bailey, 145
Laurence, Reflections suggested by the Feast of St., 156
Laudes Diurnæ, 171
Life of Dom Florentius, 175, 274
Life of St. Génévieve, 216
Life and Virtues of Mary, Mother of God, 241, 297
Loire, Notes by the, 312
Lucis Creator Optime, Translation of, 287
Moffat's Southern Africa, 86, 135
Michael the Archangel, Feast of, 160
Magdalen, The, 185
Matin Hymn, 206
Mary, Mother of God, Life and Virtues of, 241, 297
Menzies, of Pitfodels, Death of John
Music, Church, 60
Music, Sacred, 318
Nave of the Church, Chapter IV. 129; Chapter V. 280; Chapter VI. 337
National Character, Crudities of, 181
Oak, in Battle, Sussex, Traditions of an Ancient, 336
Painting of Christ by Correggio, On a, 342
Prayers for the Conversion of England, 31
Prodigal's, The, Address to his Home, 42
Psalın cxxxvii.
Protest, An Anglican, 198
Pilgrim, Extract from an unpublished Diary of a, 213
Presentation of our Lord, On the, 258
Propagation of the Faith, Annals of, 268
Parish Priest, The Catholic, 260
Reflections suggested by the Feast of St. Laurence, 166

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