What joy those wise kings knew when they saw you

What joy those wise kings knew when they saw you,
a sign, a bright star shimmering across
the sky, guiding their hearts from the east to
that fixed point over a hovel. Lucky

people who knew such rejoicing. And you,
kings, saw the humbler a powerful king
becomes--here a baby swaddled in rags--
the nobler he is, the more beloved:

these humble people made you reach for God's
paradise. Surely, the place, animals,
cold, hay, even the rough woollen blankets

showed God's goodness; and the star and clear night
his power. You gave him presents, loved him
with a heart filled with reverence and joy.

An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition
From V CIX:269. See also B S1:133:151; MSs L (the 3rd in sequence); V2 (Ve2). Valgrisi 134. Translation: Bainton 207. A sixteenth in a series meditating Christ. Another nativity sonnet. Key

Amaro Lagrimar
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