THE THREE KINGS OF COLOGNE by Eugene Field
From out Cologne there came three kings
To worship Jesus Christ, their King.
To Him they sought fine herbs they brought,
And many a beauteous golden thing;
They brought their gifts to Bethlehem town,
And in that manger set them down.
Then spake the first king, and he said:
"O Child, most heavenly, bright, and fair!
I bring this crown to Bethlehem town
For Thee, and only Thee, to wear;
So give a heavenly crown to me
When I shall come at last to Thee!"
The second, then. "I bring Thee here
This royal robe, O Child!" he cried;
"Of silk 'tis spun, and such an one
There is not in the world beside;
So in the day of doom requite
Me with a heavenly robe of white!"
The third king gave his gift, and quoth:
"Spikenard and myrrh to Thee I bring,
And with these twain would I most fain
Anoint the body of my King;
So may their incense sometimes rise
And plead for me in yonder skies!"
Thus spake the three kings of Cologne,
That gave their gifts, and went their way;
And now kneel I in prayer hard by
The cradle of the Child to-day;
Nor crown, nor robe, nor spice I bring
As offering unto Christ, my King.
Yet have I brought a gift the Child
May not despise, however small;
For here I lay my heart to-day,
And it is full of love to all.
Take Thou the poor but loyal thing,
My only tribute, Christ, my King!
Eugene Field (1850-1895) was an American poet and journalist, most famous for his poems about childhood, such as "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod" and "The Duel." Cologne (or Koln) was the cathedral city in Germany where the reputed remains of the Three Kings are said to be housed.
Beautiful poem. I felt the old stirrings...
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