The holly berry that
burns so red
(Raise high the holly!)
Once was whiter than wheaten bread
(As love is better than folly.)
Whiter than shells along
It blooms on its tree by a stable door.
Villagers come there,
Gifts in their hands for Child and Maid.
And one has nothing of
note, so he
Fetches a branch of the holly tree.
Alas, alas, the little
Has pricked His finger upon a thorn,
Has left His blood on the
Heavy of heart the holly grieves,
Sees in a terrible vision
A crown of holly shall bind His brow
When Child is man.
For sorrow and shame
The berries have blushed as red as flame.
Says Mary the Mother,
"Take no blame.
"But be of good cheer as
ever you can.
Both foul and fair are the works of man,
"Yet unto man has My Son
And you, dear tree, are the innocent
"Who weeps for pity what
man might do.
So all your thorns are forgiven you."
Now red, rejoicing, the
On jubilant doors as a Christmas sign
That desolation to joy
(Hang high the holly!)
Holly is the symbol of Christ's Birthday.
(When love shall vanquish folly.)