THE holy night that Christ was born
The ox stood reverently apart,
Both ruminating eaten corn,
And pondering within his heart.
There be (he pondered) certain beasts,
Which stand about Jehovah’s throne,
Which hearken to the Lord’s behests,
Which have no thought but Him alone.
Now I am surely one of these.
And, since He comes to my abode,
‘Tis fitting I should bow my knees
Before the Holy Child of God.
I hold it for a solemn troth
I shall no more be sacrificed.
For when to prophethood He groweth,
I cease to symbolise the Christ,
Who is the noble Holocaust
As anciently Himself did plan
Himself to be the Holy Host,
To feed and succour fallen man.
I cannot tell the Mother dear
My joy; but softly if I low,
The noble Infant Christ will hear
His bullock praise him. He will know.
Gray, John. “The Ox.” The Pageant, 1896, p. 184. Pageant Digital Edition, edited by Frederick King and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2019-2021. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2021. https://1890s.ca/pag1-gray-ox/