CHRISTMAS POETRY IN SPAIN
Al nifio recien nacido Todos le traen un don; Yo soy chico y nada tcngo ; Le traigo mi corazon." * l8
In nearly every western language one finds traditional Christmas carols. Europe is everywhere alive with them ; they spring up like wild flowers. Some interesting Italian specimens are given by Signor de Gubematis in his " Usi Natalizi." Here are a few stanzas from a Bergamesque cradle-song of the Blessed Virgin :—
" Dormi, dormi, o bel bambin, Re divin.
Dormi, dormi, o fantolin. Fa la nanna, o caro figlio, Re del Ciel, Tanto bel, grazioso giglio.
Chiiidi i lumi, o mio tesor, Dolce amor,
Di quest' alma, almo Signor ; Fa la nanna, o regio infante, Sopra il fien, Caro ben, celeste amante.
Perche piangi, o bambinell, Forse il giel Ti da noia, o l'asinell ? Fa la nanna, o paradiso Del mio cor, Redentor, ti bacio il viso." f I9
* "In a porch, full of cobwebs, between the mule and the ox, the Saviour of souls is born. ... In the porch at Bethlehem are star, sun, and moon : the Virgin and St. Joseph and the Child who lies in the cradle. In Bethlehem they touch fire, from the porch the flame issues ; it is a star of heaven which has fallen into the straw. I am a poor gipsy who come hither from Egypt, and bring to God's Child a cock. I am a poor Galician who come from Galicia, and bring to God's Child linen for a shift. To the new-born Child all bring a gift ; I am little and have nothing ; I bring him my heart."
t " Sleep, oh sleep, dear Baby mine, King Divine ;