ITALIAN CHRISTMAS POETRY
Al Bambolino principe dc gli clctti, Che nudo giacc ncl pungente spino.
II Verbo divino, che e sommo sapiente, In questo di par chc non sappia nicnte, Guardal su' 1 ficno, che gambetta piangente, Como elli non fusse huomo divino." * '3
Here, again, are some sweet and homelv lines about preparation for the Infant Saviour :—
" Andiamo a lavare La casa a nettare, Che non trovi bruttura.
Poi el menaremo, Et gli daremo Ben da ber' e mangiare.
Un cibo espiato, Et d' or li sia dato Senza alcuna dimura.
Lo cor adempito Dagiamoli fornito Senza odio ne rancura." f I4
* " In the worthy stable of the sweet baby the angels are singing round the little one ; they sing and cry out, the beloved angels, quite reverent, timid and shy round the little baby Prince of the Elect who lies naked among the prickly hay. . . . The Divine Verb, which is highest knowledge, this day seems as if He knew nothing of anything. Look at Him on the hay, crying and kicking as if He were not at all a divine man." (Translation by Vernon Lee in "Renaissance Fancies and Studies," 34.)
f " Sweep hearth and floor ;
Be all your vessel's store
Shining and clean.
Then bring the little guest
And give Him of your best
Of meat and drink. Yet more
Ye owe than meat.
One gift at your King's feet
Lay now. I mean
A heart full to the brim
Of love, and all for Him,
And from all envy clean." (Translation by Miss Anne Macdonell, in "Sons of Francis," 372.)