THE CHRISTIAN FEAST
Ed essa lo ricopre El meglio che puo almeno, Mettendoli la poppa Entro la sua bocchina.
A la sua man manca,
Cullava lo Bambino,
E con sante carole
Nenciava il suo amor fino . . .
Gli Angioletti d' intorno
Se ne gian danzando,
Facendo dolci versi
E d' amor favellando." *I2
But there is an intense sense of the divine, as well as the human, in the Holy Babe ; no one has felt more vividly the paradox of the Incarnation :—
" Ne la degna stalla del dolce Bambino Gli Angeli cantano d' intorno al piccolino ;
Cantano e gridano gli Angeli diletti, Tutti riverenti timidi e subietti,
* " Come and look upon her child Nestling in the hay ! See his fair arms opened wide, On her lap to play ! And she tucks him by her side, Cloaks him as she may ! Gives her paps unto his mouth, Where his lips are laid.
She with left hand cradling Rocked and hushed her boy, And with holy lullabies Quieted her toy. . . . Little angels all around Danced, and carols flung ; Making verselets sweet and true, Still of love they sung." (Translation by John Addington Symonds in "The Renaissance in Italy. Italian Literature" [1898 Edn.], Part I., 468.)