John Speller's Web Pages O bird of dawning! all the night

John Speller's Web Pages - North American Christmas Carols
O bird of dawning! all the night
This text is the work of Boston poet Thomas Williams Parsons (1819-1892) and was published in Putnam's Magazine in 1856. It suggests the influence of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act I, scene i:

"Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome then -- no planets strike --
No fairy tales -- nor witch hath power to harm --
So gracious and so hallowed is the time."

and also, perhaps William Austin's carol All this night shrill chanticleer (The Sun of Righteousness), which has close parallels, but in some ways it seems unlikely that Parsons could have known of it.

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