In the Bleak Midwinter

The popular holiday song "In the Bleak Midwinter" can be traced to a request from the editors of Scribner's Monthly, an American literary periodical. While Scribner's Monthly lasted just 11 years, it's easy to argue that its legacy lives on, most notably during the holiday season. "In the Bleak Midwinter" is sung by scores of choirs across the globe each holiday season, and the popular carol is based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti. Rossetti's poem, which would be transformed into a carol in 1906, was written in response to a request for a Christmas poem made by the editors of Scribner's Monthly, and has endured well into the 21st century.

"In the Bleak Midwinter"

In the bleak mid-winter

Frosty wind made moan,

Earth stood hard as iron,

Water like a stone;

Snow had fallen, snow on snow,

Snow on snow,

In the bleak mid-winter

Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him

Nor earth sustain;

Heaven and earth shall flee away

When He comes to reign:

In the bleak mid-winter

A stable-place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty,

Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim

Worship night and day,

A breastful of milk

And a mangerful of hay;

Enough for Him, whom angels

Fall down before,

The ox and ass and camel

Which adore.

Angels and archangels

May have gathered there,

Cherubim and seraphim

Thronged the air,

But only His mother

In her maiden bliss,

Worshipped the Beloved

With a kiss.

What can I give Him,

Poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd

I would bring a lamb,

If I were a wise man

I would do my part,

Yet what I can I give Him,

Give my heart.

Lyrics written by Christina Rossetti

Lyrics courtesy of



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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